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.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Our trees are fruiting well this year, although that good news has brought with it the birds and the wasps, keen to share the harvest.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Bradwell Gala 2016

We were once again on the field for gala day. Many thanks to everyone who helped set up, staffed the stand or provided things to be sold. This is a really important fund raiser for us, and once again proved a successful day.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Flaming June in the orchard

The grass is definitely doing well. The June working group set to and created some paths. Our midsummer picnic in the orchard suffered what by now is the usual fate; no wonder the grass is so lush.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The orchard in blossom

Some super photos from Alison Johnston of the orchard in blossom. For the full set, take a look at the album on our Facebook page (search "Bradwell Community Orchard Group" on Facebook to find us).

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

It's been a slow Spring this year

But slowly but surely, Spring is here. First off, though, a big thank you to Hope Construction Materials for our new interpretation board.

The soft fruit bed is coming into leaf, and the rhubarb seems to be doing well.

Finally, a view across the orchard...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Preparing for winter

Our November working group saw a small but hardy team turn out. We've been busy preparing the soft fruit for next year - pruning and weeding.

The trees are certainly looking more and more like an orchard, and it is a very special place to be.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Apple Day 24 October

We'll be marking Apple Day on Saturday 24 October this year, and look forward to seeing you! We'll be at Dick's Yard, opposite Bradwell's ice cream shop in the village, from around 12 noon until 4:00pm.

Come and join us to taste (and perhaps buy!) some different varieties of apple that you won't find in the supermarkets.

We'll have the apple press there too, so if you have some apples to press, please bring them and a bottle to put the juice in (it's only a small press, so please don't bring great big boxes of apples down!). In exchange for a small donation, we'll do our best to press them for you.

There'll be some lovely cakes to buy, and of course Dick's second hand book stall will be open too.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Autumn in the orchard

Some superb photos from our last working party courtesy of Alison Johnston. A glorious morning in the orchard!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Gala day

The group was well represented at the Bradwell gala on 1st August. We had a successful day, and hope those who were able to visit enjoyed the day too!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Managing the grass

How many of us does it take to assemble a strimmer? Anyway, we now have the wherewithal to manage our grass better. The mower was satisfactory on grass that was kept under control, but less so on long grass. The team here were at our last working group.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

April in the orchard...

The trees are really beginning to look like an orchard now, and the shelter belt is also thickening up nicely. The soft fruit bed is coming along too, as can be seen here.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Early spring in the orchard

A little delayed by the snow, we were able to get into the orchard and have a good look at each of the trees today. Armed with notes from previous visits, we were able to consider what was needed and in many cases to complete the necessary work. The rest of the working group were busy repairing a couple of sections of wall that suffered damage in the bad weather.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The orchard in autumn

Autumn in the orchard... ladybirds on the holly, and leaves still on the Irish Peach and Ribston Pippin. Half a dozen regulars attended today's working party and tidied up the soft fruit bed and part of the shelter belt.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The orchard goes underground (2)

A few more photos of the "orchard underground" - for the full set, visit our facebook page!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

New e-mail address

We now have a new e-mail address for the group - please use orchard(at) rather than Ellie's e-mail address. Just substitute the @ symbol in place of (at), which we've used on here to reduce the risk of the address being picked up by spammers.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Apple Day - October 2014

We’re really sad to say that we won’t be holding an Apple Day celebration this year.

After four years’ hard work, we were looking forward to a bumper harvest in the autumn when the fruit ripened, and the opportunity to share nature’s bounty with the village.

However, all the apples have been stripped from the Community Orchard – every single apple from every single tree.

We’re desperately disappointed, and know you will be too, but we’ll be back next year.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The orchard goes underground...

Some of our hardier members recently enjoyed a trip down Bagshawe Cavern - crawling through the mud was, apparently, not obligatory!