Bradwell Community Orchard Group

 

 
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Our aim is to create, develop and sustain an orchard in Bradwell for the benefit of the community. A community orchard is a place where local and other varieties of fruit are grown by and for local people. Providing fruit to share and places to enjoy, they show how well we can live with nature as friend and collaborator.  We had our first meeting in July 2009, and after six months as an informal group, set up as a charity in January 2010.  The idea of a shared orchard in Bradwell was born during discussions in early 2009 about a large-scale development proposal. Part of the site contained an orchard and our group came together to suggest that this was retained for the community. There is still a possibility that at least part of that orchard will not be built on and that we might be invited to help look after what remains.  

The enthusiasm of the group meanwhile has led to the planting of a new orchard. Lafarge have granted us a 50 year lease on a field on Mich Low, at a peppercorn rent. With help from the Peak Park ’s Conservation Volunteers and Rangers we have rebuilt one boundary wall and with a grant from their Sustainable Development Fund we are rebuilding another. In early 2011 we planted 40 different fruit trees, including old and local varieties of apple, pear, plum and cherry. Bradwell’s Junior and Infant schools have been involved planting trees and studying the wildlife in the orchard. Many local people contributed by sponsoring trees while other funds came from the Co-op Community Fund and the Parish Council. Pluscarden Abbey, in the north of Scotland , sent us several trees too. We planted a mixed species hedge with trees given by the Woodland Trust. A local beekeeper is helping us keep three hives in the orchard. There’s plenty going on!

We will have to wait a few years until the trees are big enough to provide much fruit, but when they do, we hope that people will find a favourite amongst all the different varieties. After all, you can’t buy an Irish Peach in the shops! In the meantime Michlow Orchard can already be enjoyed as a special place. We ask that you keep the gate shut to stop trespassing sheep, and not to exercise your dog there. Please keep the site clear of dog dirt. Thank you!

Please come and join us! We meet every second Sunday of the month at 10am to work in the orchard, and welcome all to join us there. We also hold events such as apple days. Membership is open to anyone aged 18 or over, and we ask for a minimum donation of just £5 per year.

Keep up to date with our activities at www.bradwellcommunityorchard.blogspot.com.

For more information, or to become a member, please contact: eleanor.dunn@hotmail.co.uk or telephone 01433 621672

Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18; the annual subscription is £5.

Current officers are:

Chair Ellie Dunn
Secretary Bridget Stewart
Treasurer Bruce Nowell
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Last Updated: 02 December, 2015 16:10:11 Report Site Problems to Webmaster