A Community Weeding event at Queensway Community Garden Orchard had 13 residents helping-out, alongside Kate and Rhiannon of WBC Community and Housing Team (https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Benefits-and-community-support). The team cut-back weeds along a 25m length of the site boundary, laying down wet cardboard and wood-chip to provide a ‘no-dig’ mulch. In addition, we cleaned-up the site entrance and looked for non-native plants, with three-cornered leek and lotus-tree removed during site clearance appearing not to have grown back (http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=132). Gareth was able to plant five common-spotted orchid plugs from a nearby development, otherwise lost to housing thanks to the help of CSa Environmental (https://www.csaenvironmental.co.uk/).
Over the May Bank Holiday weekend Claire (pictured), Gareth and Mark Gittos from Vivid Housing planted over 150 hedgerow trees at a Wrecclesham Orchard-space. Despite not being able to advertise the event with the local community, two families joined us and another resident helped us water the planted hedgerow trees. The Woodland Trust Wild Harvest Package (Blackthorn, Dog-rose, Hazel and Crab Apple) had arrived late, due to a computer glitch, but it is hoped the cold spring will have helped slow down the spring re-awakening. We cannot wait to see how the Orchard and Hedge will have matured by 2022.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.