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

Elderflowers to apples…

Goodbye elderflower.

Hello apple.

The National Trust has planted an orchard on its land at Tinkley Gate, near Nympsfield, in amongst the old elderflower plantation there. Once used to supply Bottle Green with fruit for their elderflower drinks, the trees are now surplus to requirements and are slowly fading away, leaving gaps to be filled with fruit trees.

We started the process last week, planting Gloucestershire varieties of apple…. Arlingham Schoolboys, Gilliflower of Gloucester, Eden, Lemon Roy, Gloucester Royal, Taynton Codlin, Flower of the West, Siddington Russet, Tewkesbury Baron, Wheeler’s Russet, Foxwhelp, Dymock Red, all evocative names that reflect Gloucestershire’s rich past as a fruit-growing county.

As well as supplying the trees and guards, the Trust’s Chair of Trustees, David Lindgren, was on hand to offer advice and guidance to the National Trust’s group of volunteers, who planted and guarded the trees with energy and enthusiasm and no little skill.

It’s another example of the work the Trust does to conserve and celebrate Gloucestershire’s orchards.

 

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Pole-axed at Henley

posted in: Henley, orchard, volunteers | 0
This is the last ever picture of one of two redundant electricity poles still standing on our perry orchard at Henley Bank, kindly left by an electricity supply company for us to deal with. Thanks to the efforts of Rich Priday of F A Priday & Son, agricultural contractors, both poles have now been felled, despite the orchard being somewhat soggy underfoot. Neatly and efficiently done.
We have recycled some sections of the poles; they will become gate posts in another old, traditional orchard near Slad, for which the Trust will be paid the princely sum of £30, more funds to support our efforts to conserve and celebrate orchards in Gloucestershire. Every Little Helps. We’ll also recoup more funds by recycling the copper wire that was attached to the poles.
The little concrete box that used to house some electrical paraphernalia is next in line for demolition… a few blows with a sledgehammer wielded by our Treasurer, Andy Ellis, will see to that. It’s all part of an ongoing process to restore the orchard to its former glory.
Most importantly, before the end of March, four new perry trees will be planted in the orchard, the first perry trees to be planted there for well over a century. The ONLY way to ensure an orchard, any orchard, still exists in the future is to plant new trees. That’s what we’re doing. Please join us; there is a lot to do in a lot of orchards!

Wassail at Days Cottage

Some pictures from Helen and Dave at Days Cottage, taken at their recent Wassail:

– thanking the orchard for the harvest

– welcoming back the sun

– encouraging our good orchard spirits and reminding the trees to wake up after winter

– generally having a good song and dance around the orchard

– Simon our butler/Green Man and masked wassailers enjoying a bonfire afterwards. Continued

Wassail! Horfield Organic Community Orchard – Saturday 20th January

All are welcome to Wassail and wake up the fruit trees at Horfield Organic Community Orchard

Saturday 20 January 2024, 2 – 4pm

Toast the orchard for a fruitful harvest

Bring ribbons, clouties & shining things to dress the trees

Make merry with Pigsty Morris

Homemade cake and mulled Orchard juice for sale

We Wassail whatever the weather!

Horfield Organic Community Orchard welcome all to Wassail and wake up the fruit trees at Horfield Organic Community Orchard on Saturday 20 January”, says Shannon Smith aka the Apple Tree Lady. “Whatever the weather – help us liven up a wonderful seasonal tradition that celebrates people, community, and nature”.

The ceremony kicks off soon after 2.30pm. Pigsty Morris bring their dancing and merry making to the festivities. Mulled juice and homemade cake for sale.

To find the Orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP):
Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road and Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right.
OR
Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue until you come to the last gate on the left.

Dogs on leads, please.

More information at www.community-orchard.org.uk or on this link

Orchard Blossom Day Webinars 14th and 21st February

News about Orchard Blossom Day Webinars run by Orchard Network:

We are contacting you as a manager of a publicly accessible orchard, community orchard, or collection in the hope that you will be thinking about holding an Orchard Blossom event this year. 2024 will mark the third Orchard Blossom Day. Last year saw more than fifty sites hold events in the UK alone, and this year we hope to see over one hundred. The Orchard Network is promoting the Day alongside the National Trust and European Orchard Day throughout the European mainland.

Whether you have plans already or are just interested in knowing more, we would like to invite you to join us online for a short webinar to help inspire your event, share your ideas, pick up tips, and publicise events locally and online.

We will cover the following subjects:

1. What is Orchard Blossom Day?

4. Why celebrate and promote orchard blossom?

5. Where and when to have an event – In an orchard, or as part of other events throughout springtime?

6. What activities could you include? See our Publicity Pack and Activities ideas on www.orchardnetwork.org.uk.

7. Add your event to the map

8. Document the Day – take photos and video, use social media to best effect.

8. Q&A – any questions welcome in the chat function or asked at the end.

Steve Oram and the Orchard Network team.

The webinars will be held on:

Wednesday 14th February 14:00 and Wednesday 21st February 18:00

For joining details contact Orchard Network: https://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/contact

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