Little Shelford's community orchard

The Community Orchard is growing

 

The Community Orchard is expanding to double in size.

 

Since September some of the paddock to the left of the existing orchard, as approached from Garden Fields, has been turned over to the Community Orchard and will be developed over the coming years.

 

It was mown mechanically, being far too large an area and the grass too overgrown for scything. Seven new standard trees will be planted at the ditch end of this area in December and new walking paths will be established and maintained.

 

This new land will approximately double our meadow area and gives us an exciting opportunity to explore the planting of more exotic species to reflect how the climate is changing.  One idea being considered is to plant trees such as olives which are naturally adapted to hot and dry conditions; if anyone has such trees which may have overgrown the pots they were growing in please let us know and we would be happy to plant them out. Who knows, in 20 years time, it may be possible to harvest olives as well as apples, pears, gages and quinces.

2022 has been a good year for the Community Orchard and Woodland Project. Despite the very hot and dry weather over the summer, our dedicated team of watering volunteers kept all the trees and most of the smaller hedge and scrub whips alive. The small-leafed lime, planted as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration at the entrance, despite this being at the wrong time of year and bearing few leaves, looks to be in good condition and hopefully will burst into life in the Spring.

The existing meadow was cut in sections by scythe and the cut hay allowed to lie in piles to suppress the grass underneath; these piles will be cleared and sown with some wild flower seed in the hope of increasing the diversity of plant life. The yellow rattle planted last year went well and should have seeded more widely to expand again naturally next year. A new bench has been very generously donated by Mr and Mrs Fox and has been installed on the eastern side of the orchard, just past the entrance sign.

Mike Darsley Nov 23 2022

A map of the expanding community orchard.

Orch2.jpg
orch1.jpg

The Community Orchard was formerly opened on June 2 2022 by Deputy Lieutenant  Caroline Bewes accompanies by SCOWP Chairman Mike Darsley. Caroline planted a Jubilee Green canopy tree at the event as part of the village Jubilee celebrations.

SCOWP held the official opening of the Orchard and Woodland Project on Blennie’s Patch to coincide with the first day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Many thanks to the Little Shelford community for such a fantastic turnout.

 

 SCOWP Chairman, Mike Darsley gave an overview on the project and then introduced Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire,and local resident, Caroline Bewes, to officially open the orchard with the planting of a small leafed lime tree and unveil the Queen's Green Canopy Plaque.  There was then a children's treasure hunt, which was very successful with over 35 children taking part; many thanks to Katie Hatton (Beavers co ordinator) for her crucial help.

We hope that most of you have had a chance to enjoy the developing orchard by now and we look forward to enhancing the appearance of the area with the planting of additional trees and improvement of the central meadow, with more community events to look forward to!

Julie Darsley

Updated June 30 2022

Little Shelford Community Orchard

Shelford Community Orchard and Woodland Project (SCOWP)


Little Shelford Parish Council suggested in 2019 that part of Blennie’s Patch next to the allotments be used for a community project to promote a greener Little Shelford by planting new trees and to encourage children to be more aware of their environment whilst developing an under-used resource.

The area is a one acre paddock beyond the allotments in Garden Fields. Currently they have planted three rowan trees, along with nine apple trees of various varieties.

More than 200 Hedging whips and oak saplings have been sourced for free. The centre of the plot will be developed as a grass meadow to encourage wild flowers and a diverse ecosystem, with log piles and bird and bat boxes to be installed.

A core group of volunteers has since been working on a plan, planting the first three trees, cutting a walking path around the plot and applying for grants to help fund the project. You can follow their progress and add your input on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter). 

Their aim is to develop the area into an orchard and small woodland that can be shared and enjoyed by the community all year round and provide fruit in the autumn. It is envisaged that school groups will use the area and they are already involved, having held a competition to design the SCOWP logo.
 

 

Please can you consider making a donation towards the project? Any amount you can afford to contribute will make a difference, but £30 would cover the cost of buying and planting a single apple tree or for £50 you could choose a specific tree to sponsor and dedicate it to a loved one and provide a memorial plaque if you wish.

The project is being organised as a sub-committee of the Parish Council and all donations can be made directly to the PC via cheque (identifying SCOWP) or bank transfer (please contact Gill or Mike for the account details).

Their fundraising goal is £2,500 for the first year towards which they have already raised £500. Please support them if you can.

The SCOWP Committee

Gill Davidson (davidson.wg@btinternet.com); Collette Patterson; Neil Ruffles; Richard Sainson; Julie Darsley; Mike Darsley (mdgb59@gmail.com)

See an aerial view of the Community Orchard on Facebook

 
Little Shelford community orchard