Longney Apple Pruning and Orchard Maintenance Workshop 16th December 2021

posted in: Longney, New Events, pruning, workshop | 0

Martin Hayes is leading workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn) 10am-3pm or whatever time you can spare. Pandemic permitting.

No charge for GOT members. More details will be sent later to those who are interested. The morning session will either be pruning medium sized trees (no ladders) or helping to maintain the trees in other ways.

Then switch over in the afternoon.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Thank you! Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

Please book through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk

Places will be limited. We look forward to seeing you!

There is another workshop on 11th January next year.

Longney Apple Pruning and Orchard Maintenance Workshop 11th January 2022

Martin Hayes is leading workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn) 10am-3pm or whatever time you can spare. Pandemic permitting.

No charge for GOT members. More details will be sent later to those who are interested. The morning session will either be pruning medium sized trees (no ladders) or helping to maintain the trees in other ways.

Then switch over in the afternoon.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Thank you! Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

Please book through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk

Places will be limited. We look forward to seeing you!

 

News from Longney

Updates on the latest at our Longney orchards where we have new fencing, plus improved plumbing and water troughs.  And some new signage too. These would have been shown to everyone at our open day but unfortunately that was cancelled.  Sorry to all those disappointed but we hope these pictures will show some of the changes and, if you’re visiting, explain what’s what.

The latest works have been carried out for us by our neighbour Roger Godwin, whose farm team (Henry plus others) fitted in the works before harvest time. We had several long-standing issues to resolve, mainly improving plumbing to each of the four orchards and installing new fencing at the barn compound to reduce the chance of sheep getting in accidentally.

As a result we now have working, and plumbed in, water troughs in all the orchards (only two were plumbed in before) with all troughs compliant with current standards. This means the sheep will have a reliable supply wherever they are.

At the barn there is now a new fence isolating the compound from the Bollow/Long Tyning gates, so that livestock can pass freely between those two orchards without accessing the barn area.  This will, we hope, eliminate the occasional problem with sheep in the barn area, which is used for school groups and events.  We don’t want to put off visitors through, so there is a new pedestrian gate into the compound, spring-loaded to help ensure it’s kept shut!

The work by Roger’s team also included laying a water line to the toilet (not yet plumbed in) in case we want to have washing water there and, inside the secure store, a small handwashing basin for use by anyone attending events.

Not forgetting the scraping out of the seasonal pond areas in Middle and Lower orchards.

In addition to all this work we have also been improving some signage, in particular at the Fish House, where there is a new sign explaining the building, and our philosophy on how to manage it.

 

There are more pictures below showing all of these changes.  We are very grateful to Roger G and colleagues for their work on the plumbing and fencing.  And, as usual, Stuart Smith for his continuing work managing the whole area, including the new signs (thanks Juliet Bailey for help with those too) and Ann Smith for coordinating everything.  Pictures are by Ann and Stuart and also Jonathan Briggs.

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Easter news from Longney

The pears (and the blackthorn and plums) are now in bloom, and we’ll post pictures of some of those soon, but today here are some more general pictures and news, highlighting recent work by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse who visit regularly on Mondays and Wednesday mornings:

Martin Hayes, who supervises the students on site, explains the scarecrows:

Meet Sheila and Madoc, the Orchard Guardians or, their more common name, scarecrows.  These two handsome beasts were made by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse.  They are guarding the wildflower seeds we have planted.  Last years wildflowers were eaten by the sheep that were let in when ramblers left the gates open!!

Other pictures below include the new bug hotel, also built with student help, some general views of hedgerow blossom and, the recently fallen ancient willow pollard, dead for some time but toppled by winter storms:

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Little Owl boxes (re)installed at Longney

The Little Owl boxes in our Longney Orchards have now all been erected in trees around the site, including the box whose original tree fell in strong winds earlier this year.

The boxes, kindly donated by the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group, were mounted on fruit trees and a pollarded willow at GOT’s Longney Orchards.

Thanks to Stuart and Pete who installed them all and to John Fletcher who advised on locations. They are level, even though they may not look so in the pictures!

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Enjoying Longney’s apples

posted in: apples, Longney, orchard | 0

A couple of pictures from Tobias Reynolds, an award winning Gloucester-based photographer, showing his wife and baby enjoying the apple crop at Longney.  Right-click the images to open full size in a new tab.

For more on Tobias’ work visit his website www.moochuk.com

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Creative Sustainability’s Longney Camp 2020

Here’s an inspiring report on this year’s Longney Orchard camp from the Creative Sustainability organisation. This local Community Interest Company organise (amongst many other things) camping weekends and day camps for disadvantaged young people, including disabled, refugees and asylum seekers.

Most of their camping programme had to be cancelled this year because of the Covid restrictions so the Longney event was particularly important this time.

Some quotes from the report:

‘I haven’t been into the countryside since I came to England, I don’t know where to go, whether I am welcome or safe or whether I have permission, or where I can walk’

‘This is the first sunset I’ve seen since coming to England’

‘..I found myself daydreaming of home before it became unsafe, for the first time. Normally I have nightmares. It’s being here at the orchard. It’s so peaceful – I slept well.’

‘I can see my home all around…(he pointed around the orchard as he spoke) these fruit trees, some crops, the muddy track, homes where my family, friends, aunties and uncles live, someone sleeping under the trees, the smell of cooking, goats here, chickens over there, camels and cows here’

‘It made me remember to live’

You can read the full report below or click here to download it. For more information on Creative Sustainability click here.

Click to access Report-for-Orchard-Trust.pdf

 

Mason Bees return to Longney

posted in: bees, blossom, Longney, orchard | 0

Despite the lockdown this year’s consignment of mason bee pupae has been installed at Longney.  Transporting livestock is, of course, permitted!

13 bee boxes containing a total of around 300 tubes, plus 4 release boxes containing around 200 pupae were placed a few weeks ago (in time for most of the blossom).

No pictures from this season, but here are a few from last year, showing Keith Turner installing the boxes and tubes:

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Longney in lockdown

posted in: blossom, Longney, orchard, wildlife | 0

A few pictures from our Longney orchard, taken by Martin Hayes this week.

Lockdown or not it’s still spring in the orchard, the trees are flowering, the butterflies are out, and the river keeps on flowing:

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