Help Preserve Herefordshire’s Traditional Orchards

 

IMG_0932Orchard Origins is entering an exciting new phase as it becomes a Community Interest Company. We currently help maintain eleven acres of orchard owned and managed by the Herefordshire Nature Trust, as well as over twenty or so private orchards. Each week we are contacted by landowners who are keen to work with us. As we grow and take on further orchards, we are on the lookout for more volunteers. If you enjoy being outside and learning new skills or are just keen to understand more about Herefordshire’s orchard heritage why not come and join us? It’s a friendly and fun atmosphere with plenty of tea and coffee breaks.

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Orchard Origins Pressing Ahead

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In April, we will be adding three initials to the end of our name.  Becoming a C.I.C or Community Interest Company is an important milestone for Orchard Origins. Since we launched two years ago with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme, it has been our goal to become a social enterprise. So what does it mean?

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Decline And Revival Of The Perry Pear

Perry Pear Orchard at Davies Meadow

Perry Orchard at Davies Meadow   

Traditional perry pear orchards are thin on the ground these days, so it was a privilege for Orchard Origins to be invited to help with the winter pruning at Davies Meadow. This ancient pear orchard, which had fallen into neglect, forms part of a 20 acre reserve managed by the Herefordshire Nature Trust. For the last few years, the Trust has been replanting it with traditional perry pear varieties and a few dessert pears.

Swept up in the slipstream of the cider boom, Perry, the fermented beverage produced from perry pears, has been enjoying  a bit of a renaissance recently. So, could perry orchards become a more familiar sight in the future?

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Family Winter Wassail

SATURDAY 18 JANUARY  1400 – 1630

Orchard Origins and Wildplay invite you to the orchard at Lower House Farm to celebrate last year’s bumper crop of apples and to DECORATE, DANCE AND MAKE A NOISE around the trees for next year’s crop.

We will also be joined by STORY TELLER  Carol Graham so WRAP UP WARM and come along to the first event of the year.

Hot drinks and appley goodies will be available.

The event is FREE, but it is a book-in only event.

Please call Herefordshire Nature Trust on 01432 356872 to secure your place.

Orchard Maintenance and Hedge-Laying Workshops

Formative pruning workshop in Colwall

In the New Year, Orchard Origins and the Herefordshire Nature Trust are running a series of workshops on orchard maintenance and hedge-laying that promote wildlife-friendly practices.

There has been a huge decline in traditional orchards and hedgerows in the UK since the 1950s. When sensitively managed for fruit production and wildlife orchards support a huge diversity of insects, mammals, birds and plants. Hedges provide natural corridors and nesting sites for a host of different species. Understanding and practising traditional management techniques will help conserve these fragile habitats.  Continue reading