Orchard blues

Once again it was time to tidy the community orchard and have a bit of a get together. We were hoping to have a bit of an apple tasting as well as the apple trees had finally reached the stage when we could let them fruit freely and this year they had a good amount of apples on them. Note the use of the past tense!

Alas there were maybe a dozen apples in total on over 30 trees!

Now it seems to me a sad sign of the times when a whole crop of apples can disappear from one week to the next as seems to be the case here. It seems even more sad to have to think about what we will have to do in order to avoid a repeat of this ‘disappearing act’ next year.

Despite this disappointment our volunteers – and special mention should go to our DofE volunteers – wielded scythes and rakes, pulled bracken and nettles and attacked the bramble creeping out of the hedge, leaving the orchard looking better than ever.

Our thanks to you all and maybe next year you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour – excuse the pun.

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Orchard tidy up

We had a little tidy up of the orchard next to Mare Barn – scythes and loppers at the ready a keen band of helpers, including our DofE volunteers, attacked long grass, bracken and bramble.

orchard before

The difference after a couple of hours is quite something –

orchard after

What we really need is a couple of sheep on permanent duty.

Sadly this year due to a late frost apples are very thin on the ground – or the tree even. But there will be other years and hopefully we will be rewarded for our hard work then.

This very interesting caterpillar was found in some hazel

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the exotic looking beauty was identified as the caterpillar of the not so exotic Pale Tussock Moth

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