Bud-grafting Workshop at Days Cottage, Brookthorpe, Thursday 21 July 2022

Learn the art of propagating fruit trees by inserting a bud of your chosen variety into a rootstock. Take your tree home at the end of the session.

10am-1pm. Access to rare Gloucestershire varieties.

Cost £40.00 including refreshments.

To book (essential) please contact Dave/Helen directly at applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602. More details at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith at Days Cottage Orchard & Rural Skills Centre offer a rolling programme of pruning (winter), grafting (winter) and bud-grafting
(summer) courses as well as a Blossom Day and Apple Day. Check out their website regularly www.dayscottage.co.uk

Big Apple’s Blossomtime weekend 1st and 2nd May, Putley

Big Apple are planning a Blossomtime event over the bank holiday weekend of Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May.

This will be centred on the village of Putley around Putley Parish Hall.

Details are still being finalised.

For more information on this and other planned 2022 Big Apple events visit their website:

https://www.bigapple.org.uk/

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend, 30th April-2nd May, Chipping Campden

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend is not far away!  Join the Wolds End orchard volunteers over the spring bank holiday weekend from Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May to mark the start of this year’s growing season.

Come and enjoy what we hope will be a breath-taking pink and white mosaic across our 94 fruit trees, sitting within nearly three acres of ridge and furrow landscape on the edge of historic Chipping Campden.

In Japan, spring blossom is celebrated with the traditional custom of Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ and is an opportunity to take in the beauty of flowers. It’s a practice of restoration, an invitation to connect with plants and the soil; time to give yourself space to breathe, go slowly, walk mindfully and just be in the moment.

From late March to mid May the blossoms of apple, pear, plum, walnut and quince burst onto the scene: expect to enjoy everything from gossamer white through soft pinks and onto deep vermillion.

It’s not just about the fruit trees. We also have a ‘Shadow Orchard’ in the form of boundary hedges where you’ll also spot a variety of blossom including hawthorn, blackthorn, elder and wild damson as well as pussy willow catkins and maybe even some early wild rose.

The National Trust has a great Blossom Activity Pack on its website as part of it’s #BlossomWeekend activities.

The gate will open from 10.30am-4pm each day. Everyone is welcome – just pop in and have a wander around.

Note: the orchard is very uneven underfoot so ensure you wear appropriate footwear. Also, no dogs please as the orchard is a nature reserve as well as a working orchard.

Address:  entrance on corner of Aston Road and Back Ends, GL55 6AB. Parking: in the High Street, Campden School Car Park or public parking bays on Back Ends – no parking on site. 

A busy winter for Tim

Tim Andrews is always busy.  A dad of two, teacher, GOT committee member and owner of Orchard Revival Cider, it is not hard to fill every spare minute. Below is his summary of orchard activities so far this winter!

Pocketts Orchard, WhitminsterWe have continued to work with Cotswold Canals Connected to look after and restore the traditional orchard at Whitminster next to the canal. A particular highlight was the talk given by Jonathan Briggs, a previous GOT chair, about mistletoe. Nearly all the old trees have their yearly prune and we have cleared quite a bit of excess brambles. We await the results of the DNA testing that took place in the autumn and we hope to do some more grafting at the start of March. There is a lot planned in the summer such as fencing and building a field shelter which should allow us to control the grazing better. Work parties are held on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Please contact Peter Savage peter.savage@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk if you’d like to join us.

Tree plantingWe managed to squeeze in some more tree planting on our own land this winter. Another 24 takes us to 358 trees and 131 varieties all on full standard root stocks. Being well watered in the first year of planting we have only lost 1 tree! However, there was little growth due to the dry summer we had last year and also because I hadn’t mulched enough. There is never enough time to do it all! We have also led the creation of a new community orchard at the Ionian, a wood fired pizza restaurant on the A38 near Berkeley. We donated the trees, led the planting session and the Ionian is providing the land and paying for the guards. The pizza, cake and coffee provided certainly energised the volunteers.

PruningOnly a couple of orchards beyond Pocketts orchard managed to get pruned this year. These were a lovely old cider orchard in Halmore and a small orchard in North Nibley. I would have liked to have done more, but my teaching job gets in the way!

Bird boxesThe best bit about being a teacher is the children. This year a group of students in my year group were really keen to do something to improve the environment at my school Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School. So we held a raffle and have raised enough money to buy the materials for 4 blue tit nesting boxes, 1 kestrel box, 14 swift boxes and a sound system to attract the swifts. The students’ next job is constructing the boxes and erecting them on the school site. I am also working with a bird expert in our village, Peter Kirmond. We are hoping to turn North Nibley into a swift hub by erecting lots of swift nesting boxes. For each bottle or pint of our Save Our Swift cider we donate 20p towards the cause.

GraftingWe are also running a number of grafting workshops thanks to a Farming in Protected Landscapes grant. Martin Hayes and David Lindgren, our joint GOT chairs, will be on hand to help to. We’ll be at North Nibley on 1st March, Avening on 8th March and Hazleton on the 14th March. Email Martin if you are interested in attending martin@glosorchards.org.

Tim Andrews  https://orchardrevival.co.uk/

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! ”

 

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.