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Community Orchard - April 2024

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The other weekend you may have seen two trailer loads of trees driving through the village on their way from an allotment on Port Meadow to temporary storage in Roger Buswell’s barn.

They were a gift of 15 trees by a friend of Ron Stern to help start an orchard here in our community.

Community orchards are an increasingly popular way for village groups to come together to grow fruit and help protect our biodiversity. People can learn how to prune the trees; picnic in the orchard and enjoy the autumn apple day.

Richard and Susan Farrant, who own the patch of rough grass below the Recreation Ground, have generously offered it on a long lease to the Parish Council to establish an orchard for the whole community. The Parish Council have accepted in principle and established a sub-committee to manage it. The members are Roger Buswell, Nicko and Gillie King, Richard Palmer, Salt Sellar, Ron Stern and Richard Zakss.

We’re waiting for the details of the lease to be finalised and for the ground to dry out enough to plant the trees. We’re now making funding applications for grants to plant another 45 trees; improve the access and provide tables and benches.

You’ll still be able to use the foot-paths through the site. The trees will be protected from deer individually so there will be no need for a fence around the site. Because of the drop down from the recreation ground, the trees won’t be visible from the road side of the recreation ground.  And, once the trees start producing fruit the apples, pears etc will be free to the village. 

There will be many ways to get involved – planting, pruning, picking and picnicking – and we’ll invite you through the parish newsletter. If you have a special apple tree you’d like to see in the orchard, let Ron know and he will graft a scion from your tree to make a new one for the orchard.

Ron Stern & Nicko King