Conducting ecology surveys around the South East, Gareth makes time to visit lots of Community Orchards. These visits are invaluable to see where different orchards sit in the landscape, how other groups utilise the orchard space, maintain their orchards and whether there are lessons to be learnt and knowledge gained for our COPSE Orchards.
Whilst surveying the rich landscape west of Newbury, Gareth visited Barn Crescent Orchard, planted in 2012. The Orchard is within a small piece of land located to the rear of the Crescent, with a small copse planted during Lockdown 2021. A fitting memorial for these times!
Watts Gallery Orchard was visited to check upon four fruit trees ring-barked by deer during a cold-snap in winter 2021, between fence repairs. The Estate’s team acted quickly to resolve the situation by patching up the wounded trees and to repair fencing to prevent further damage.
We were pleased to see all the trees alive, generally looking healthy and most with fruit. The Orchard was looking beautiful with yellow blossoms of wild parsnip, mullein and fleabane in full-glory. The fruit trees are likely to have fared well after the deer damage, following a relatively wet summer… finger-crossed for these trees next year.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.