We hope you agree that with you all getting involved, 2013 was a remarkable year when our villages' orchard was established! Hard work and fun combined to make this a fantastic addition to the facilites on offer in the Chignals and Mashbury.
We trust you are all enjoying the good weather and getting to spend time outdoors. The orchard trees have been battling with nature recently and some trees are harbouring some unwanted guests - but despite their struggle, the orchard is still a lovely place to visit this time of year. The fruit harvest will be sparse this year as the earlier weather put paid to that!
If you can give of your time helping to maintain this wonderful space, please let us know what is a good time for you to get involved - we look forward to hearing from you (there is an orchard email address lower down the page).
PLANNED EVENTS 2017:
October 15th: Fruit Celebration & Bird Scarer Workshop: Our last event for this year is planned for Sunday 15th October, the Orchard Fruit Celebration together with a bird scarer workshop.
We are collaborating again with St Nicholas Church Harvest festival service which starts at 11am in the church, ollowed by the fruit celebration in the orchard from 12pm - 1.30pm. We do hope that you can come to both or either event.
As in previous years - please feel free to bring along and share or take any spare fruit and veg together with any preserves you might have lurking in the cupboard.
Car parking will be available on the playing field opposite.
Bird Scarer Workshop - Your Orchard needs you!
The Orchard has suffered this year from a lack of sufficient winter and spring rain and more importantly an attack early on from birds eating the buds, preventing fruit production. As a result there is hardly any harvest. We can't influence the rain but we can be proactive about scaring the birds.
A variety of bird scarers are required to continually 'scare' off the birds. Scaring devices include scarecrows, glitter strips, windmills, banging devices, imitations of predators such as hawks and cats.
We hope to make bird scarers on the day. If you can put those thinking caps on and bring along anything that would help to make a scarer that would be brilliant. Spare ribbon,string, old CDs, bottle tops, old bunting, foil etc. Who knows, maybe you have an old stuffed owl or hawk or scarecrow lurking around ð. If you have scissors, prittstick, a stapler etc it would be good to bring those along too.
We then hope, to retain effectiveness, to vary the position of these wonderful creations around the orchard frequently throughout the year.
All events are subject to demand and logistics so your input is very much appreciated. We would also love to hear from our other local clubs to see how we could work together to share activities, so if you are a member of one of these groups let us know what we can arrange with you too. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know anyone who is not on email but would be interested, please pass on this information.
The bug hotel still needs more rooms so if your children/grandchildren/you want something to do and make another room that would be great.
July 2017 Orchard News: Thank you to all who came along to cut the grass in July. The annual moth survey has been carried out and shows that there are more species than in previous surveys. The list of wild flora growing among the rees is also growing longer.
May 2017 Orchard News: Thank you to all who came along and enjoyed the May Day sharing picnic in the orchard where a good time was had by all. A marquee was decorated with flower swags whilst prettily decorated buffet tables groaned under the weight of cakes, cheeses and every kind of savoury and sweet delight imaginable, all brought along by the visitors. Children danced with hoops that they had decorated while grown ups enjoyed tea and coffee from Jackie and Malcolm's camper van which they kindly brought along for the day.
August 2016 Orchard News: Thank you to all who came to the Queen's picnic in June. It was a hugely successful event with competitions and games, along with food going down well! Once again the scarecrow competition was a great talking point too.
The orchard continues to do well with crops of apples appearing, although not such a good year for the fruit on the quince trees.
We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the Molly men who have performed at our wassailing event for the last few years. They will, however, be taking a well earned break from performing for us in the new year, so this event will not happen in 2017. The next friends email will give you details of events we do plan to hold next year.
We look forward to seeing you on 10th September and 16th October.
May 2015 Orchard News: A big thank you to all who came to our VE Day jubilee celebration. Over 50 of you came to soak up the sun, chat with neighbours, friends and family. Food and games from the era were rejuvenated and enjoyed by old and young alike. We feel we did our bit to participate in the weekend of celebrations.
Special thanks to Tony towns for lending straw bales and potato sacks and to the United Reformed Church for the loan of their trestle tables.
January 2015 Orchard News: Despite the rainy weather at the wassail on the 3rd of January, many of you were not put off and came out to enjoy what we hope you thought was a jolly good time!
Enormous thanks are due to the Molly men who entertained us with dance, shouts and music. Through them we were able to witness old village traditions as well as learning an energetic dance!
Many thanks must also go to Norman Smith who compered from start to finish. The evening flowed smoothly and before we knew it we had welcomed in the new year, fed the trees with apple juice and hung toast out on the trees as well.
With all the music and singing we hope that we have encouraged healthy growth to the trees in 2015! (If you did not come along - just to recap - wassailing is a pagan tradition to encourage a healthy orchard the following summer. Molly men come along and sing and dance - their faces may be blacked up. We are all encouraged to join in and we also sprinkle apple juice and tie toast on to the trees. It's a fun activity following a very old rural tradition that takes place in the dark. Children love the freedom of running around at night time too!)
September 2014 Orchard News:We trust you have all had an enjoyable summer and have found the time to call into the orchard at some point. The bug hotel has been thriving, but we still need more compartments - so if you have been cutting and clearing in your garden, please bundle up twigs and bark and bring along to the hotel.
We have had fantastic comments placed on our notice board above. Visitors have stopped by to wander and have picnics in the orchard and children have told us what they have found. Fabulous
June 2014 Orchard News: Picnic barbecue and Bug Night:The weather was definitely on our side for our picnic, barbecue and bug night! We could not have asked for better.
Our bug hotel was officially opened by Zoe Nuttall as she cut the ribbon and more rooms arrived throughout the evening. There is still space for more additions, so add to the hotel when you can.
Moira Tarrant showed us all some very interesting specimens of moths once the hotel was launched – here’s what she found that evening in the orchard:
"During the sunny afternoon and evening, we saw both Large and Common Skippers among the wild flowers. These are beautiful burnished yellow and copper butterflies that sit strangely with their lower wings stuck out. Later, after dark, the first moth to turn up at our light was, very appropriately a Plum Tortrix. This is not the moth that leaves nasty caterpillars in our Plums. In fact, it lives on the leaves of Blackthorn. Later, around midnight, we saw some larger moths including three Mottled Beauties and a single Orange Moth ( easy to recognise beacuse it is bright orange!) In all, we saw 37 different species of moth which was a most satisfactory addition to our list of wildlife in the Orchard"
Simon Leadbeatter set up a BBQ which became laden with sausages , glasses were filled, picnics set up and a thoroughly pleasant evening was enjoyed by all. Although many of the trees were being watered that evening (along with a few of the children!) it was lovely to just sit and enjoy the orchard and not just work on it.
April 2014 Orchard News: On a not very inspiring Easter Sunday , weather wise, sixteen children from our villages and beyond enjoyed an hour in the Orchard and playing fields searching for eggs and clues. None were put off by the drizzle knowing that chocolate was at the end of the game! Parents and relatives also enjoyed a social gathering after the church Service on Easter Sunday and helped look for the eggs too.
Yet again our Orchard has been used to full effect by friends and families with our youngsters enjoying the freedom that this valuable space brings to just have a good old run around!
Wassail, January 2014 : Every care is being taken of the newly planted Jubilee Community Orchard using 21st century techniques, with skilful pruning and management of pests and diseases. But on 4 January residents covered all possibilities by also honouring the ancient tradition of Wassailing the trees.
Wassails have been held in orchards all over the country for centuries - Wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'Waes haeil' - be healthy. Wassails are traditionally held after dark around New Year. The twin elements of encouraging the trees and driving out bad spirits were achieved with lights, noise, singing to the trees and pouring apple juice on them.
Thanks to an already established relationship with the Good Easter Molly Gang, they agreed to bring dancers and musicians to help with the event. The group, which has now danced the Molly for 30 years, revived a winter tradition once common in East Anglia, but which disappeared last century along withploughing with horses.
Although only advertised within the three villages and by word of mouth, the event was hugely successful with between 150 -200 people coming along. Saturated ground, mud and intermittent drizzle were all ignored in favour of singing to the trees, joining the Molly Gang for a dance, eating Epiphany cake and finally parading around the orchard with drums, whistles, saucepan lids and rattles. People loved the magic that having an outdoor event lit only by lanterns and torches provided, and permission to make as loud anoise as possible appealed to adults and children alike. As the procession of lights and noise wound around the trees there was a tangible sense of a sleeping orchard being awakened.
As the Molly Gang and residents moved on to a pub in the village for an evening of music and dance, the event had benefits beyond the immediate entertainment.
It remains to be seen what response the fruit trees make to the attention they received, but it is hoped the song sung to them should give some encouragement - 'Bud and blossom, bud and blossom, bud and bloom and bear'.
October 2013 Orchard News: The fruit swap on 19 October turned out to be a great success with many of you turning out laden with fruit for others to share. Thanks to all those who took the time to bag, display and offer your produce. It all looked fabulous. Nothing went to waste as left over fruit was taken to both the local pubs to either use or share with their customers.
Those of us that had no offerings were more than happy to have local produce and in the process the donations made around £50 which will go towards the orchard funds.
There were some new faces amongst us, including the caravan club who were staying at the village playing fields that weekend.
It is just over a year now when the initial meeting about the Orchard was held. I think you will agree that alot has been achieved in that time - here we are now with what was an unused field being enjoyed by us all. Please email with any comments you may have on what we can achieve in our next year (see May News below for address) . Don't forget there's hedge coppicing, pruning and shed maintenance taking place on Saturday 23 November at 10 am, weather permitting.
July 2013 Orchard News:The benches and table are now installed, the great weather has arrived, so what is stopping you taking a stroll or bike ride and using the orchard for a picnic? Among the trees is a variety of wild flowers to spot and the butterflies are enjoying the sunshine too!
May 2013 Orchard News: The Jubilee Orchard is official! Even the sun made an appearance along with villagers and friends to witness the official opening of the Chignal and Mashbury Jubilee Orchard on Saturday, May 18th.
Our thanks to Phil Taylor from Lathcoats who officiated for us by cutting the ribbon and setting off the balloons as well as providing us with his own Lathcoats Coxes Apple juice. It was enjoyed by all.
Thanks to everyone for supporting the project so far - we have achieved so much in a short space of time. Our thanks to Transscape for doing the grafting on some very wet and windy days and bringing the project in on time.
We hope to have secured the benches in the next few weeks, so please use the orchard for your picnics, and stop overs on your walks. There are still additions to make on site, so watch this space!
To all that have adopted a tree, your labels will gradually appear on your tree, so another good reason to keep calling in. And if you have not already adopted a tree and would like to, we still have some trees looking for adopters! so please get in touch if you are interested.
Contacts: Malcolm Feltwell. Tel: 01245 441070. Email: email@example.com
Lynn Ballard. Tel: 01245 440880. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org