With funding and initial help and advice from the Rural Development Programme, various fruit trees were planted in the Millennium Field in 2010/2011 to create a community orchard. A further fifteen trees were added in February 2012. Some of these were replacements for trees that had not taken the previous year, but some had never been planted, not being available during the harsh winter of 2010/2011.
Many of the trees planted originally got off to a good start, but sadly others suffered from deer damage and marauding rabbits so their future was more in doubt. All the trees have been protected with wire surrounds, are well mulched (thanks to the support of Brad Matthews from Rowley Road) and have been pruned, originally under the guidance of Gareth from South Warwickshire Local Food.
All the trees planted in the field are growing well and the area is making its mark as a community space. If you are walking through, occasionally or regularly, do please cast an eye over the trees and should you see anything of concern please make contact. Even though the orchardeers are a relatively small group, this is a community orchard and anyone can join in.
The list of trees and their locations are summarised in the orchard layout.
April 2014 update - Over the past two years most of the trees have managed to survive drought and cold winds and on inspection we have only lost a few of the original 80 trees. Our thanks go to Pete Smith (Smith’s Nurseries) who has very kindly given and helped plant 10 replacement trees. After a wet winter, this current spell of warmer weather should get the trees off to a good start this year; fingers crossed for a good growing summer so that our apple, pear, plum and cherry trees can flourish.
Volunteers give time throughout the year to weed, water and prune the orchard and as it develops there will hopefully be plenty of fruit for community use. Anyone able to help at anytime should contact Roger Horsfall – 024 7630 6610.