Perry Pear Planting at Boyce Court, Dymock

Our committee co-chair David Lindgren and incoming treasurer Andy Ellis were out last month planting some replacement perry pears at Boyce Court, near Dymock.

There’s a long-established avenue of pear trees there, on the drive leading to the house.  These trees, several hundred years old, are well-known (in the perry pear world) as they feature in the 1963 book Perry Pears by L C Luckwill and A Pollard.

The illustration in the book shows a healthy avenue of trees but now, 60 or so years later, many have gone and most of the survivors are decaying or dead.  Some are still productive though, and David has used the fruit for a limited edition Perry called “The Avenue”.

David and Andy’s efforts, planting some Thorn perry pears (one of the old varieties originally planted in the avenue), will help reverse the decline and keep the tradition of the avenue going.

For more pictures see below and for information on the site and varieties do visit David’s blog about it at https://www.bushelpeck.co.uk/news-and-natter/2022/1/29/z42onimf0bkf10brye6296cphdoekv 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tree Planting at the Ionian Farmshop, Berkeley 19th Feb 2022

The Ionian Farmshop and Kitchen on the A38 near Berkeley have a tree planting event on 19th February to design and make your community orchard.  With our own Tim Andrews to show them how.

They say:

“Give back and volunteer at The Ionian as we embark on our ambition to design and make your community orchard! Aiming to provide vital green space where you can interact with nature have space to learn skills such as planting, pruning and grafting. We can all do our bit in the battle against climate change, help wildlife and our own well being!
We’ll be collaborating with the amazing Tim Andrews who will share his knowledge with us on reviving traditional orchards. We need as many volunteers as possible for this project, any help will very much appreciated. To get involved, please email theionian.a38@gmail.com.  We are so proud to attract and make people from all walks of life and every background feel welcome at The Ionian, we encourage you to roll up your sleeves, lets work together on creating a sustainable future! ”

 

Murmurations at Hartpury Orchard Centre

 

There have been some spectacular Starling murmurations at Hartpury Orchard Centre in the last week or so.

 

These take place over the wetlands adjoining the orchards before the starlings came down to roost in the reeds

 

This is a very satisfying habitat success story – 15 years ago the area was an arable field with no ponds.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New Traditional Orchard at Wallsworth Hall- fruitful collaboration in action!

Wallsworth Hall, an imposing C18 house, just north of Gloucester at Twigworth, is home to one of the UK’s most important national charities promoting conservation through the medium of art – in all its many forms. Established in 1988, Nature in Art (N in A) is now a unique centre, with an expanding membership and visitor base.  It is dedicated, among other aims, to show how the visual and aesthetic qualities of art can help support ecology and encourage participation in realising common objectives.

The large garden area surrounding Wallsworth Hall provides space for many sculptures and a site for a busy Education Centre with outreach work with schools, art groups and visiting artists in residence. The garden is also very popular with visitors, with circular walks and picnic places, and it has an excellent range of wildlife. However, the far end of the garden had been left largely untouched and had become overgrown and inaccessible.  N in A’s Trustees decided to restore this area – of around a 1/4 acre – by establishing a small orchard of local varieties of apples to supplement some older fruit trees around the partially walled boundary.

Following enquiries from N in A’s staff, contact with the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust (GOT) was made which led to discussions on how plans for the new orchard could be made and put in train. GOT (and N in A) member Keith Turner agreed to collaborate with N in A Director Simon Trapnell and the Education Officer Catherine Bunn in drawing up practical plans. These included using N in A volunteers first, to clear, by hand, the area of its jungle of briars, nettles and invasive elder; and then to prepare the new area for planting up to 15 fruit trees, mainly apples. The emphasis would be on heritage varieties – a mixture of culinary, cider and dessert types, which would be sourced from GOT member Rob Watkins’ Lodge Farm Trees nursery near Berkeley.  A mix of native grass and wildflower seed will be broadcast under the trees to augment the existing flora and so form a natural sward under the trees for wildlife conservation, especially habitat for bees, butterflies and moths.

Sufficient ground was ready by autumn 2019 for the first trees to be planted, but continued wet conditions delayed planting until early 2020. These trees soon established and made good growth in 2020. Meanwhile, the remainder of the area was prepared for clearing and planting which took place the following winter.  Consisting of grafts on M25, MM106 and MM111 rootstocks, all were local Gloucestershire or regional Three Counties varieties/cultivars. Examples include Ashmeads Kernel, Longney Russet, Arlingham Schoolboy, Yellow Willy etc.  One perry pear has also been included in the mix for a special spot in the new orchard.

The plantings were completed in early 2021 with a total of 16 trees well established, but leaving a legacy of further work by N in A volunteers to maintain the new orchard over the next few years. There was, very likely, an earlier orchard at Wallsworth Hall which would have provided fruit for the house and its residents. So it’s very satisfying that the new trees will restore these links and again be part of the future history of this lovely house.

Keith Turner  6/1/22

More information on Nature in Art: Located at Twigworth off the A38, near Gloucester GL2 9PA.  https://natureinart.org.uk/

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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

1 2 3