The team was photo bombed by this lovely flock of Herdwicks that graze the Orchard
On National Blossom Day, ten Friends of Swan Barn Orchard met-up and made an inventory of the trees and their blossom in the 100-year-old Traditional Orchard, noting the percentage of flowers open and any maintenance issues that needed to be rectified at each tree. We took part in some Citizen Science by uploading the blossom percentage of each tree to Fruit Watch, organised by Reading University, who are concerned about early fruiting trees, not syncing with bees and other pollinators on the wing during Spring:
Mark Tuson from RHS Wisley donated and helped plant, in early April, 13 heritage apples for local community orchards, with varieties including Major; Pixie; Antonovka; School Master (x4); King of Pippin; Wyken Pippin; Dunn’s Seedling (x2); Cow’s Snout; Bismark. The trees were starting to come into leaf, so they were planted-on late. We hope to leave then in the current potting beds for the spring-summer and plant them on in November once the leaves drop.
Thank-you RHS and Mark For donating the trees. We are currently planning where we can plant them on in winter 2022, the Queen’s Jubilee year!
On 26th March friends invited us to a Hanami Cherry Blossom picnic at Rikkyo School, Rudgwick. Hanami translates into flower watching, referring specifically to observing the cherry trees in full bloom. This Japanese tradition involves strolling through a park or having a picnic under the blossom trees. At the popular hanami spots in Japan, some people save the spot in the middle of the night for the next day’s party!
Then on 1st March we attended Surrey Biodiversity Conference, with a display to show delegates how orchard-spaces can enhance biodiversity.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.