Following online and face-to-face engagement that took place during September 2021 the Parish Council agreed to approve the planting of Fletchers Field Community Orchard. See the following online engagement used to consult with the local residents of Liphook:
The Liphook area is blessed with several wide, open recreation spaces which have been a particular boon to local residents during the pandemic. Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council are now proposing to provide its residents with a quieter, contemplative and fruitful space in the form of a Community Orchard on an area of parish-owned land at Fletchers Field. They are working with Community Orchard Project South East (that's us!) to explore this idea in more detail and gather residents’ thoughts and ideas about how they might use this very special space.
Six fruit-trees are proposed to be planted during winter 2021 in an area of amenity grassland owned by Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council, adjacent to Fletchers House. Three local heritage apples (such as Bramshott Rectory and Egremont Russet) are to be planted towards the centre of the orchard, with potentially plum trees (Victoria and Golden Drop) in opposite corners and a single medlar tree.
The meadow beneath the orchard is to be managed as a wildflower meadow, to include two footpaths about 1.5m wide cut on a regular basis between the fruit trees. A 2-3m wayleave will be regularly maintained as short grass to ensure the meadow does not fall onto and impede the adjacent footpaths during the growing season. Later on, local-sourced plugs or seeds of native flowering meadow species may be planted (e.g. yellow-rattle and oxeye-daisy).
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.