It’s been four years since we first gathered together the idea of having an orchard of sorts across our three favourite villages.
Thanks to a great deal of enthusiasm funds were raised, trees were sourced and volunteers came forward to help with all aspects of the project.
We hit the ground running early in 2012 and planted over 40 trees. Our target was to plant 60 mixed fruit trees to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year, as many as possible being traditional East Anglian varieties. We have now reached our target and have only had a few trees fail so far.
This winter we ran our fourth annual fruit tree pruning and grafting courses. This time we held them in Newbourne where we were grateful to be allowed to prune some very old apple trees in John Sommerville of Newbourne Hall’s orchard.
As well as replacing some plums which died,
we mulched around many of the trees with straw and manure.
As for fruit, we have had quite few apples and pears on the Village Way trees in Autum of 2015.
If you are new to the village and wondering whether the fruit is up for grabs, it very much is, please help yourself to ripe fruit as you find it and that goes for all of the fruit trees on publically accessible sites around the villages.
We plan to do another work party to mulch around the remaining trees to keep them well fed and weed free.
If you would like to get involved in any of our activities please email Mariah
Fruit expert Marina O’Connell led the course with her usual abundance of knowledge and practical advice.
Betsy Reid and Mariah Ballam ran the grafting course for which an astounding array of graft wood was gathered from far and wide.
If you missed the courses and wish to attend we will be running them again in January 2017.
Early in February we were very lucky to receive some free trees as well as help planting them from Suffolk Coasts and Heaths.
The AONB team have been inspired by our Scattered Orchard and are funding a project to provide 5 free trees for every parish in Suffolk. If you know of a parish wishing to take part do contact Neil Lister.