Fruitful Parishes Grant Funding - In November we received our first small Fruitful Parishes Project grant, from Haslemere Town Council to conduct two juicing events.
Eashing Orchard Trail Planting (18th November) – On this windy, wet day, we planted six exotic fruit trees, including mulberry, quince and figs (planted into 0.5m pits), next to the Muslim Burial Area. This 3rd Year of planting also included a row of Five apple trees.
Surrey Hills Woodland Symposium - COPSE had a stand in late-November, promoting our Fruitful Parishes Project, creating Community Orchard Spaces and Groups to manage the fruit trees, in Surrey Parishes.
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.
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.