Longney Orchard News

This picture, taken by Ann, shows Stuart Smith after the planting work

Ann Smith writes:

Today we planted more Gloucestershire plum trees at GOT’s Longney Orchard and replaced one or two apple trees. The soil is good quality and drains well.

Sheep continue to graze the orchards. The flocks of fieldfares and redwings were enjoying the fallen apples.

A tattered red admiral butterfly warmed itself on the barn brickwork in full sun on this mild November day. It was rather tattered, weary from a long year chased by birds or perhaps it was tipsy from the fermented fruit! Will it survive the winter? They are known to enter a dormant state and the barn would certainly provide shelter.

The fieldfare pictures below were taken by John Fletcher, who is a regular birdwatcher at Longney.

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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.

The sheep return to Longney

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

Stuart Smith writes to say: that the sheep have returned to the orchard after spending winter at home on the farm. The lambs are a few weeks old, so not at the leaping for joy stage, but seemed to be enjoying the grass and the sun on their backs. Studies have shown that sheep recognise human faces, and this one seems to know our volunteer from last year!

If you leave the track in Long Tyning, you can walk beneath a canopy of apple blossom. The most common varieties here are Bramley’s Seedling and Newton Wonder – both cookers.

Joan Morgan says that when apple trees began to be included in formal gardens by the Victorians, and the blossom came to be valued as much as the fruit, “some of the grandest spring displays were to be found on the prolific cookers”.

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Plum Tree Pruning Workshops at Longney Orchard on 9th, 17th and 30th May 2022

Martin Hayes is leading a series of informal pruning workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn).
These are for GOT members only. Cost is £10 per head.

Please book one session (booking essential) through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk who can advise on payment methods.

(all fully booked now)

If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with details of which session you’re booking.

Dates are

  • Monday 9 May 2022 at 12-3.30pm (large trees)
  • Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 9.30-1pm (young trees)
  • Monday 30 May 2022 at 12-3.30pm (young trees)

Once booked, Ann will send you further details including directions. Please note there is no vehicular access to the orchards from the road.

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, boots and refreshments.

Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit is only pruned between May and September to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

 

We look forward to seeing you! If you are not a member and would like to attend, please join GOT at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/

If you are a community orchard group you get a year’s free membership. Please enquire via Ann.

The mason bee season opens at Longney!

The mason bees are back at Longney.

Stuart Smith writes that the advice from the BeeGuardian project was to put the red mason bee cocoons in their release boxes as soon as they arrive.
They came on 31st March and were in place the same afternoon!

 

On the right-hand side of the tree guard is a nest tube holder, already stocked with a dozen cardboard nest tubes.

Blossom at Longney

Stuart Smith spotted this beautiful blossom in Bollow Orchard at Longney while preparing for the arrival of the red mason bee cocoons at the end of March.

 

This particular tree is a unique perry pear, meaning that its DNA fingerprint does not match any other perry pear in the National Collection at Hartpury.

 

Jim Chapman says this suggests that just the seedling rootstock remains and the grafted perry variety has died – but at least it makes a lovely show!

 

 

Longney Pruning Workshops, February and March 2022

Update:  Sorry, 14th March workshop is now fully booked and 7th March workshop has been cancelled.

Martin Hayes is leading a series of informal pruning workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn).

These are for GOT members only.   Cost will be £10 per head.

Please book one session (booking essential) through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk who can advise on payment methods.  You can also pay via this PayPal button:


If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with details of which session you’re booking.

Dates: Mondays 14 February, 7 March, 14 March.  Noon-3pm

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. 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.

We look forward to seeing you! If you are not a member and would like to attend, please join GOT at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/

If you are a community orchard group you get a year’s free membership. Please enquire via Ann.

 

 

Pruning workshop December 2021

Eight GOT members attended Martin Hayes’ pruning workshop at GOT’s Longney orchard on Thursday 16th December 2021.

There was time to discuss members’ individual orchard queries and to learn about a range of issues including planting, rootstocks and guarding trees.

Trust Juice and cider was available to purchase.

The resident pheasant kept an eye on the proceedings from a safe distance from Martin’s dog!

Photos kindly taken by Jacquie Sarsby.

 

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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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