We had a tremendous team of helpers planting over 30 trees at our Community Orchard in the Rec over the first weekend of December.
Starting on Friday, Geoff Lacy was on hand with a mini digger to take the strain out of digging the holes and also secured us a swift delivery of much-needed topsoil. A group of 2 or 3 planted each tree, ensuring that it would be at the right level with the graft well above the ground, and with a stake and guard and a generous helping of fine topsoil. The plan will be published in due course but so far we have a group of cherry trees at the south end of the oval, apples in the middle and pears at the north end, mainly as espaliers – they will be trained to have horizontal branches.
Some of the tree sponsors came and planted their tree, which they enjoyed. We had enough help that the main work was completed on schedule on Saturday afternoon, giving us time to tidy the Orchard and do some weeding of the hedgerow.
On Sunday we had the labelling event where tree sponsors came to add their names to the labels and hang them on their tree. For some it was like a mini-treasure hunt, wandering around the Orchard trying to find their tree.
We plan further planting to fill a few spaces within the orchard oval and of other varieties of fruit and nut trees in the adjacent area. And we are working on selecting seating for the open area roughly midway between the two gateways and an information board – we still have quite a lot to do!
Many thanks for everyone’s enthusiasm and generosity in supporting this venture for the Village. We really appreciate your involvement. A big thank you is due to the National Lottery Fund for giving us the sizable grant. The Orchard Group operates as a subcommittee of the Parish Council and its members are mainly Sustainable-Harwellians.
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