Over the last year we made a short video at Enton Allotment, in Witley on a small Orchard planted and managed by John Steere, since the 1980s. https://youtu.be/p62G2_odnOE. Each year John makes cider from the apples, with most of the 15-20 trees, cider varieties. In July we scythed and raked-off tall herbs and grass into a heap to the rear of the John’s Orchard. By removing the vegetation while it’s green, the nutrient levels are reduced and floristic diversity increased. Elsewhere we have been collecting yellow-rattle seed, a hemiparasite of grass species that reduces sward vigor and helps to increase biodiversity 😊
During July the stone-fruit at Eashing Cemetery were weeded, with some of the plums crown-lifted, we found several cherries that had escaped the blackbirds and the trees along the Walnut Avenue had their dead-tips pruned back.
Elsewhere, in Haslemere we pruned and tied-back several espalier apple trees, including a School Master planted adjacent to the wall of St. Bartholomew Church, planted by The Den after school club. We spoke to a neighbour who was happy to have these new fruit trees opposite their property, who also showed us an old apple tree in their garden, remnant of a former orchard.
Also, find us on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/cop_southeast/
Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.