During half-term we were at Warlingham Forest School, a Surrey County Council owned site near Croydon, to provide some new wildlife homes, make juice with the Forest School families and inspect fruit trees planted in March 2023.
We made several litres of fresh apple juice with the children and then presented a Surrey Climate Commission funded hedgehog house, bird box and bee hotel to the Forest School. The planted apple trees were also checked with four trees not surviving summer, likely due to introduced, sterile top-soil replacing soil riddled with bramble roots! Replacement fruit trees are planned for 2024.
THIS WEEKEND, fell on National Apple Day (21st October) and thank you to the Cranleigh-based Betty Riseley Trust grant, we arranged for a juicing event at Queensway Community Orchard, with local families and Waverley Council tenants helping us to produce 4 to 6 litres of unrefined, pure apple juice. In total 18 Cranleigh residents helped to juice several trugs of apples, with most of the juice scratted and pressed by local children.
Earlier in the week we met Lucie Poole (Cranleigh Borough Ranger) to agree plans for a creating a new Cranleigh orchard on the award winning Summerlands Green Space.
Earlier in September COPSE was pleased to have a stand at Surrey Hills Wood Fair , Cranleigh providing children and families with a hand’s-on juicing experience, thanks to a Betty Riseley Trust grant. We later juiced at Swan Barn, Haslemere in September with the National Trust Wednesday team, to create juice for cider making towards the 2024 Wassail.
At the end of the month we did a mini-juicing and meadow management session at Parson’s Green with Waverley Borough residents. We also spread 1m2 pockets of Emorsgate EM1 meadow seed (as well as Yellow Rattle) in each corner of the space.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.