GOT aims to conserve, promote and celebrate traditional orchards anywhere in the county of Gloucestershire. We do this by sharing knowledge and supporting orchards and their owners and, in some cases, taking on management.
We have been actively involved in setting up two Orchard Centres in the county and, in recent years, have even bought orchards of our own.
Information and links to these are given below and we will be posting links to county-wide community and other visitable orchards in the Local Orchards part of the website soon.
In 2015 generous donations allowed GOT to buy 18 acres of Severnside land near Longney that included two fully productive but ancient orchards and an area of old orchard that can be re-planted.
The old orchards of Bollow and Long Tyning have hundreds of fruit trees representing over 35 varieties of apple, perry pears and plum. The field known as Middle Orchard is a remnant orchard with just a handful of trees remaining.
The site has a rich history, dating back to the reclamation of saltmarsh to make arable land in Romano-British times. There are traces of an ancient sea wall and ridge and furrow traces suggest cultivation from an early date. The present sea wall dates from the 1960s.
Our priority in Long Tyning and Bollow Orchards is to rejuvenate the trees and grassland whilst protecting and enhancing their high ecological value. Sheep-grazing has been re-introduced now that fencing is completed. Middle Orchard, together with an adjacent field now re-named Lower Orchard, has been planted up with new fruit trees, including plums and the Gloucestershire Apple Collection.
All our activities at the Longney site are being undertaken in partnership with local community groups and with help from the Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project.
We have repaired the 19th century field barn between Long Tyning and Bollow to use as a base for our work in the orchards. Do visit and have a look at the information boards there. And we have ambitions to restore the other building on the site– one of the last remaining Severn Fish-, or Salmon-, Houses, dating back to the mid/late-1700s.
Access to our Longney Orchards is via public footpaths – from the road in Longney village or from the Severn Way, which runs along the river bank.
[Link to be posted to Longney entries in our News Blog]