Orchard History Project, working with GGLT – your help needed! From 19th June.

We are working with Gloucestershire Gardens and Landscape Trust (GGLT) on a new project looking at archival records of the county’s orchards to assess their history, cultural importance and their current status. And using this to help promote orchard knowledge to our members and the wider public.

We will be inviting people to help on a field day at Longney on 19th June, with archive research on 16th July.  Full details below:

Objective

The main aims of the project are:

  • to research and reveal the history of orchards in Gloucestershire by investigating the archival record, in order to build a picture of the importance of orchards generally, and within the landscape and culture of the county;
  • to visit one or more orchards to assess their current standing (by completing the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) standard survey form) to help keep the orchard database up-to-date and to assess the potential for orchards to be improved;
  • to communicate the findings of the project to members/supporters of GGLT and GOT to spread knowledge of the county’s orchards within the wider community;
  • to develop research and online mapping skills with project participants to enable further studies to be pursued in the future, if of interest to participants.

Method

The project will achieve its objectives by:

  • inviting participants to a ‘field day’ at GOT’s orchard at Longney to give participants the knowledge and confidence to complete the standard PTES orchard survey – this session will be led by David Lindgren, Chair of Trustees of GOT;
  • inviting participants to a ‘research morning’ at Gloucestershire’s County Archive to give participants an understanding of the material that is accessible and how to access that material – this session with be led by Dr. Anthea Jones of GGLT;
  • Inviting participants to an online training session on how to access the PTES database and maps of Gloucestershire’s orchards – this session will be led by Steve Oram of PTES.

Participants will be asked to select an orchard or orchards to study, either current or historical.  This could be an orchard known to them, close to their home or within a particular parish of particular interest to the project group – it is for participants as individuals or as a group to decide.  Project participants will then research and visit their orchard(s) at a time of their choosing, to build a picture of that orchard and to conduct an assessment of its current state (if the orchards still exist).

Timing and Results

  • Longney field day on Wednesday 19th June, 2024
  • Archive research day on 16th July, 2024
  • Collation of findings and results from July to November 15th, 2024
  • Publication of findings and results by GGLT and GOT from December 15th, 2024

Longney Orchard – Monthly Management Workshops from 22nd June

New regular workshops are planned at Longney.

From Saturday 22nd June (and each subsequent 4th Saturday of each month – 27th July, 24th Aug, 28th Sept, etc) we’ll be hosting an orchard management workshop at Longney, with the objecting of helping to maintain the orchard in general terms as well as pass on particular knowledge from time to time.

From 10:00 am to 13:00 on each occasion.

The aim is to build a group of people able to participate on a regular basis.

Scything courses at Longney, 11th May, 15th June, 25th July, 16th August.

Keep fit. Cut grass in an environmentally friendly way. The Trust will be running two all-day scything courses at Longney in 2024, on Saturday 11th May, Saturday 15th June, Thursday 25th July and Friday 16th August..

The courses will be run by Nicole Clough, a dedicated environmentalist who has spent much of her working life in the wildlife and conservation movements. The course will introduce attendees on how to use and look after an Austrian scythe, is suitable for complete beginners and also for those who may already have some experience but feel that scything could be working better for them.

– Introduction and familiarisation
– Setting up an Austrian scythe
– Movement and technique
– Mowing practice (there is usually an abundance of grass and nettles at Longney!)
– Sharpening in the field
– Maintenance and peening the blade

Space is limited to 6 attendees per course. The cost – partially subsidised by the Trust and thanks to a donation from Martin Hayes – is £50 per person for members (and £65 for non-members – which includes 1 year’s membership).

If you’d like to attend then please get in touch with David Lindgren David.lindgren@glosorchards.org or Martin Hayes Martin.hayes@glosorchards.org

Orchard Tour 26th April 2024

We are arranging a tour of orchards in the northern reaches of Gloucestershire – we’ll cross the border into southern Herefordshire, so you’ll need to have your passport with you and had all the necessary jabs – and have set a date of Friday 26th April.

The date has been chosen in the hope and expectation that many of the fruit trees in the orchards we’ll visit will be in blossom, the likelihood of which is enhanced that the orchards we’ll be visiting contain both perry pear and apple trees … (but the presence or otherwise of blossom is, of course, determined by natural forces, well beyond the control of the Trustees).

Price per person: £20

Details of the itinerary will be confirmed in due course, but the current plan is as follows:

– Meet at Henley Bank, Brockworth, at 10:00.
– Tour of Henley Bank orchards
– Visit two orchards in an around Dymock and Bromesberrow
– Visit orchards in Putley and / or Preston Cross
– Tour of an orchard in Overbury
– Tour of an orchard in Winchcombe
– Return to Henley Bank, Brockworth at 16:00.

We can have a maximum of 15 people. To reserve your place please contact either David Lindgren David.lindgren@glosorchards.org or Martin Hayes martin.hayes@glosorchards.org

Longney Workshops throughout 2023

GOT orchardist Martin Hayes is running a series of workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard, south of Gloucester.

Date will be (many not yet confirmed):

  • Friday Feb 17th Pruning, mature apple trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday Mar 22nd Pruning, young apple & pear trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday Apr 12th Pruning, young apple & pear trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday 10th May Pruning, mature plum trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday 14th June Pruning, young plum trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • July, date tbc General maintenance
  • Aug, date tbc General maintenance
  • Aug, date tbc Pick your own plums
  • Sept, date tbc Pick your own plums (and apples, if any are ripe)
  • Oct, date tbc Fruit picking for Trust Juice
We are hoping that a regular work-party will be able to help with general maintenance, but no commitment if you just want to attend a pruning workshop.
There is a barn (with interpretation signage), chairs, composting loo and running cold water. Have your lunch in the barn!
Martin is very knowledgeable; so much to learn/share. He will go through health and safety with you. He is first aid trained and we have a first aid kit in the store. The ground is uneven, there are some brambles and low hanging branches.
Tools will be provided, but do bring your own saws, secateurs and gloves if you can. Please bring own refreshments and appropriate footwear and weather attire.
No dogs please; there are sheep and please keep gates closed.
No vehicular access, so please park at or near the white railings on the road, being mindful of neighbours.
If anyone is able to take a couple of photos on the day (if no one objects) for the GOT website, please let us know, thank you via info@glosorchards.org
First orchard is Long Tyning (long and thin) then Bollow. Also on site are Middle & Lower Orchards which have been planted up with heritage apple and plum trees of regional/national importance.
Please book (essential) via info@glosorchards.org and on the day please bring emergency contact details for Martin.
£5 for GOT members for just the workshops (and £20 for non members, which includes a year’s membership).
You can pay through the Donate button on the GOT website at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/
(non members can also join on that page).

Bud-Grafting Workshop at Longney, 9th July 2022

Learn how to propagate apple and pear fruit trees by budding, in a practical workshop.

These skills are useful to anyone who wishes to propagate fruit and ornamental trees in their garden or allotment. We discuss the technical theory behind budding to propagate onto a variety of rootstocks and also go through the practical elements step by step.10am-1pm at the barn, led by GOT’s committee member and Orchard Revival’s Tim Andrews.

Participants will be able to take home their own grafted tree.

Cost £30 (funds will help support Longney Orchard and the charity of GOT).

To book (essential), please contact Ann Smith: ann@smithcovell.co.uk who will advise on payment methods (please pay in advance), directions/parking etc.

You can also pay via this PayPal button:


If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with your details.

For GOT members only. To join, please click here.

GOT AGM on Saturday 14 May 2022

All members are welcome to join us for our AGM on Saturday 14 May 2022 at Brockworth Community Hall, Court Road, Brockworth GL3 4ET   https://brockworth-pc.gov.uk/

10.30am-11.30am Business and AOB/Question Time to be followed by a walk to/around GOT’s new Henley Bank Orchard.

This will be the first AGM since before the pandemic and will be very informal this year.

We hope to provide coffee but there will probably be no books for sale this time (books for sale on the GOT website bookshop all year round).

No charge for the AGM. Parking is tricky. Spaces are very limited at the community hall itself (and there is a group using our main hall afterwards so please don’t leave cars there after the meeting). The parking outside the local shops is time restricted and patrolled by traffic wardens, so if there is no space at the Community Hall please park a little further up the street.

To visit the orchard at Henley Bank afterwards it is best to move your car rather than walk (it’s about a mile). There is a new gravelled car park on Mill Lane opposite Henley Bank High School where we can park most cars. From there it’s a shortish walk to the orchard along Mill Lane and left up the A46, pavement most of the way, but rough verge for some of the A46 part (unless we cross the road, but we will need to cross back again). Committee members will help guide people to the car park and orchard. There is room for just one car at the orchard gate – we can arrange lifts direct to there from Mill Lane if needed.

Please note that as GOT has only just acquired the orchard it is very overgrown and it is the nesting season until September. The ground is uneven and damp in places. But it is a lovely place and we would be delighted to see you and have a chat about our plans.

GOT acquires Henley Bank Orchard

We are delighted to announce that we have now completed the acquisition of Henley Bank Orchard, at Brockworth.  It has been a long process transferring the ownership from the developers, but is now finalised!

The orchard, adjoining the new developments along Mill Lane Brockworth, is to be managed as a community orchard rather than public open space, and we will be working up plans for management and access soon.

The 2.5 acres (1 hectare) site, with many mature perry pears, is very overgrown at present so we are not encouraging visitors at all yet, but will be taking members there after our AGM in Brockworth on 14th May.

The pictures below were taken in March 2021.

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