The Orchard was planned by the original designer of the Green, but forgotten in his creation of the Green in 1999. The Trust set about rectifying this as soon as they took over the Green in November 1999, on their first volunteer day. They were supported from the start by Homebase, who donated the first four trees- apple and pear. The orchard cannot be described as a great success- the trees are planted rather close together; wild cherries were planted in 2002 that are now too big and almost all the fruit disappears overnight. However, work continues on the Orchard and new trees have been planted every year until it is now full and fruit trees are planted elsewhere on the Green.
The Orchard has been largely made up as the team went along. Proper records have not been kept of the varieties and labels are always removed when the trees are planted to discourage theft. The original plan simply had the word "orchard" and in practice we planted trees in the whole field south of the Noticeboard Area. No planning has taken place with regards to grouping the trees and specimens have been largely chosen on a whim. The orchard was considered "Full" by the end of 2016- until any more space is made.
No serious plan for maintaining the Orchard has so far been made, but work does take place every year. Some of the trees in that field, including the wild cherries mistakenly planted as orchard trees, are too large and have had their crowns raised. The plums get so full of fruit that their branches are liable to break. In 2016 one of the trees had obviously been climbed and seriously damaged, but the team repaired the branches quite successfully with duct tape. |In 2013 it was decided that we would only mow the grass once a year, as is traditionally done in orchards and is supposed to give better fruiting.
- Wild Cherry
Wild Service Edit
Fruit & Nuts Elsewhere Edit
Outside the Orchard there are a number of regular orchard trees and other trees that provide fruits and nuts. These include:
Apples, plum, crab-apples, haws, sloe. Walnuts and Hazel.