Sunday, 10 February 2019

February prunings

Our main task for the February work party was to prune the apple and pear trees. Many hands make light work, as they say, and we soon had the majority of the trees neatly pruned. A few had grown taller than we would like, so these have been brought back into shape.

We also had a new Acklam Russet to plant, and we are planning to put a few espalier trees near the seating area. Honestly, we are.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

December in the orchard

A few regulars turned out this morning and we were able to prune back the shelter belt. In places this has grown very well indeed, slightly restricting access to the soft fruit bed. One of our members had made some medlar cheese from medlars picked in the orchard last month, which was shared among those who were there today.

You can see the wheel of the year beginning to turn - the last of the rosehips from this year's harvest and the catkins on the hazel as a harbinger of the year ahead.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

December and January Working Parties

Our December and January working parties will start at 11:00 rather than the usual 10:00 start. After the December working party, we'll head to the Old Bowling Green for lunch. In January, we'll wassail the orchard after the working party...and then head to the Old Bowling Green for refreshment. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

We will remember them

Our November work party coincides with Remembrance Sunday and we always mark this in the orchard.

We stop, lay down our tools and gather together in remembrance as the church clock strikes the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

We will remember them.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Glorious Apple Day!

Apple day saw glorious weather and a great turn out. Big thank you to everyone who helped or who just came along!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Bradwell Gala

Once again we were down on the field for gala day with our marquee, exhibits, apple pressing and second hand books.

We had some super artwork from both schools. The Junior School took Rene Magritte's picture "the son of man" as their inspiration and their interpretations can be seen above.

The Infant School had visited the orchard earlier in the summer and provided a great selection of pictures, some of which we were able to display on this board and the others we hung right around our marquee.

Decked out and ready to go!

Plenty of orchard produce - apples from "Beauty of Bath" in the orchard, honey and jam.

Friday, 18 May 2018

May blossom

What a difference a month makes... the pictures speak for themselves.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

April's work party, and that slab of limestone again

The April work party were busy... and the stone bench is now in place.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

February's working party, and a slab of limestone

There's a large stone that lay just inside the orchard that we've long thought would make an excellent bench. Today's work party saw that ambition (and the stone!) move a whole lot closer. Very much in the Stonehenge style, the team are seen here moving the slab slowly but surely on rollers towards its final resting place.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Honey and jelly still available!

We still have some orchard honey available, 12oz jars available from High Peak Heating Supplies on Towngate. Also still available is red currant and white currant jelly - contact us for details. While stocks last!

Sunday, 14 January 2018


The orchard was wassailed this morning - and then we adjourned to the Old Bowling Green for lunch! Let's hope that the wassail was effective and that the orchard is fruitful this year.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Late autumnal colours

Late autumn in the orchard; still work to be done at our last working party.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Season of mellow fruitfulness

Some of the last apples this year - Crawley Beauty. Still a few of these cooking apples left on the tree, so if you fancy an apple pie... Sunday's working party started pruning the fruit bushes and tidying up the orchard. We'll sow some more yellow rattle a little later this autumn/winter, in the hope that we can extend the area where it is growing and maybe even get it self seeding.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Early autumn

At our September working party, we picked the last few Grenadier and Newton Wonder apples. There are a couple of trees where the apples are not yet fully ripe and we look forward to harvesting those in October. No fruit on the Serbian Gold quince this year (to be fair, it only yielded three quince last year), but it's already looking beautifully autumnal.

Bradwell gala day

 A slightly belated report on another very successful gala day. A big thank you to the junior school for the artwork which adorned our stand inside and out. As ever, plenty of orchard related produce on sale, along with Dick's second hand books.

We're grateful to everyone who helped, whether on the day or in many other ways. We look forward to seeing you at Apple Day!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

High summer in the orchard

Helpers in the orchard on Sunday. The crew picked 3lb blackcurrants, 7lb redcurrants and 12lb whitecurrants. And the ragwort was certainly attracting caterpillars. The amount of apples seems very variable this year - some trees have plenty, others almost none. Next month, Bradwell Gala takes place on Saturday 5 August - we hope to see you on the field. Our next working party is therefore one week later than would normally be the case - it'll be on Sunday 20 August.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

April showers...

Towards the end of last year, we prepared several wide strips of the grass in order to plant yellow rattle seed. The idea is that, over time, more and more yellow rattle will colonise the orchard, weakening the grass. Cutting the grass throughout the summer is a major task for the group, so it seemed at least worth a try. At our March working group there was no sign of the yellow rattle - but April showers bring forth yellow rattle, it would seem.

Saturday, 14 January 2017


The orchard was suitably wassailed on Sunday, 8 January, after the working party.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

DNA testing our trees

We were fortunate to be given a number of trees for the orchard, although the varieties were unknown. We've now had three of these trees DNA tested. Although the identity of one remains uncertain, two of the larger trees at the bottom of the orchard have now been identified as Newton Wonder and Annie Elizabeth. We've also been able to confirm that a tree labelled on receipt as Irish Peach is (slightly frustratingly) another Beauty of Bath. The list of varieties and plan have been updated on the "tree planting layout" page.

Anyway, Ellie paid us a flying visit just before Christmas...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Apple Day!

We'll be celebrating Apple Day on Saturday 22nd October 2016
Come and join us at the Grumpy Biker’s site, opposite the ice cream shop between 12:00 noon and 4:00pm
Enjoy a glass of freshly pressed apple juice – even bring some of your own apples and a bottle and we’ll press them, for a small donation. We’ll be selling jams and jellies made from our Orchard fruit, Orchard honey, cakes, wooden chopping boards and second hand books. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

October working party

Plenty to do in the orchard, as ever, as the working group prepared some areas of thick grass to be planted with yellow rattle. If it takes, this should help to bring the grass down to manageable proportions. Seen enjoying an apple in the sunshine was a comma butterfly.

Although the birds and wasps have had rather a feast, we were still able to harvest apples from a number of trees including Ellison's Orange and Pitmaston Pineapple - names to conjure with!

And lastly for this update, the rose hips in the shelter belt are ripe, so time to make some rose hip syrup. The shelter belt has a mix of trees and shrubs providing fruit such as these as well as crab apples and hazel nuts.