Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Orchard Exploration

On Monday the 18th July we held the first group meeting of the Overbury and Conderton Orchard Group.  The idea is to bring together interesed members of the two villages to talk about the conservation of the old traditional orchard and to find out if there was any interest in helping with the restoration.  The turnout was terrific, Denzil counted 50 people present and we had a least 2 families that could not make it!  Penelope introduced the evening then John Clarke spoke about his experience with the Kemerton Orchard Group before I spoke about the wider Higher Level Stewardship options that we are embracing on the farm.  Eventaully, it is hoped that the orchard group could become self sufficient in the management of the orchard (complying with the HLS scheme rules-obviously) interacting with the farm's requirements of the orchard, for grazing. 

The group will then have the opportunity to develop the conservation within the orchard, looking at erecting bird boxes, bird, plant and moss identification and counting, maybe even having some community bee hives.

It is hoped to organise a follow up meeting, within two weeks to establish a name and committee structure to start leading the plans forward.  I think we will be starting up with a fruit collecting day in September, ready for winter supplies of jiuce and cider, before tree prunning and planting weekend days following up in the winter.  Keep up to date with the development of the group through this blog and the farm facebook page 

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