Bark stripping – but by what? (Juliet’s Blog, March#2)

 New bark damage to orchard trees. Deer?

I have a Bushnell trail camera that I move around the garden and orchard from time to time to see what the wildlife is doing.

A few weeks back for the first time this winter there was a lot of bark stripping in the orchard, so I put up the camera hoping to discover the miscreant in the act. No such luck! Though, in a way it was lucky since the bark stripping has largely stopped.

Here is the rogues gallery.

I still suspect the worst damage is caused by Roe Deer though they didn’t show on the camera trap, as they are very common round here and I see them quite often in the garden. Or maybe Roe Deer and the very abundant Rabbits. And Grey Squirrels?

Well, at least I’m not blaming the Redwings. Most of the winter thrushes have now gone. The last big flock I saw was on 13 March with just the occasional individual since.

Hartpury Dawn Chorus Sunday 7th May 2023

Sunday 7 May 2023 05.00 Hartpury Orchard Centre.

An early start for those wanting to catch the dawn chorus. This is a joint event with the Orchard Centre and Gloucestershire Naturalist Society.

At 05.15 we set off, when the mists above Colliers Brook and Catsbury start to rise as the sun comes up. The slow ramble takes about 45 minutes, going through the perry pear orchards and alongside the lakes and reedbeds. It is a friendly informal morning.

Toast and hot drinks are served afterwards. We welcome quiet children – but sorry, no dogs. Meet at the Orchard Centre, Blackwell’s End, GL19 3DB, SO 784254, Hartpury, Gloucestershire. There is plenty of parking available. It is a free event, though donations are welcome to support the Orchard Centre and Trust work. Wellies or strong boots essential. Leader Mervyn Greening.

National Perry Pear Centre Events 2023

https://www.hartpuryheritage.org.uk/events/ and https://www.nationalperrypearcentre.org.uk/events/

Sunday 23 April 2023 12 noon-5pm – Blossom day, enjoy a picnic in the orchard

Sunday 7 May 2023 5am Dawn chorus walk led by Mervyn Greening (for details click here)

Sunday 14 May 2023 Rogation service in orchard 6pm

Sunday 21 May 2023 Moth breakfast 9am opening moth traps and identification

Between 3 and 11 June 2023 (dates to be fixed) Moth event in Hartpury churchyard

Bat walk in churchyard (provisional)

Sunday 11 June 2023 Garden Open Prestberries Cottage (Jim’s large garden includes fruit trees)

August – Plum display date to be fixed (provisionally Sunday 27 August 2023)

Saturday 16 September 2023 Perry pear display

October Apple display (provisional)

Sunday 26 November 2023 Christmas market

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 red admiral picture (right) and the fieldfare pictures below were taken by John Fletcher, who is a regular birdwatcher at Longney.

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Tim Andrews on BBC Gardeners World!

(Being broadcast mid or late September 2022)

Tim Andrews (Orchard Revival and GOT) filming with his children for BBC Gardeners World.

At the end of August Tim Andrews, Trustee of GOT and cider producer, was filmed for BBC Gardeners World at Pocketts Orchard, Whitminster. He was questioned about his work and passion in restoring traditional orchards near where in lives in the south of the county. Tim exchanges the fruit from these orchards for pruning, replanting and guards to keep these orchards alive.

He helps lead orchard restoration at Pocketts Orchard, Whitminster with the Cotswold Canals Connected project and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and is about to start a new project with the Ernest Cook Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire in orchards at Halmore.

Contact Tim at tim@orchardrevivial.org.uk if you would like to get involved in any of the orchard restoration.

Look out for the interview on Gardeners’ World in mid-September.

Tim did flag up all the relevant organizations, including GOT, but of course only about 5 minutes is used from several hours of filming!

 

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.

 

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