It has been three years since we celebrated Earth Hour together in the orchard. Earth Hour is an international movement originating in Australia in 2007 in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature. Every year at the end of March, people are encouraged to turn off their lights between 8.30 and 9.30 pm to highlight the impact that climate change is having on the world.
This year members of the orchard and allotments turned off their lights and headed up to the orchard with coffee and cakes to share. It was a beautiful clear night and Simon Johnson, an orchard member, lead a tour of the night skies. Every time we celebrate Earth Hour in the orchard we see a shooting star. This year we spotted a spectacular meteor blaze across the sky leaving a bright trail behind it. Well done to the Martin family for spotting it!
Now that Spring is approaching there is still lots of work and maintenance to be done. Chris Davis led our session. First he pointed out that some of our apple trees have a disease called canker. This is very damaging to our apple trees and can easily spread. Chris pointed out examples and explained how to deal with it. This involves cutting away the affected parts of the tree. If any members visiting the orchard see canker on the trees, please let Chris know.
Chris also lead a quick demonstration on pruning before the orchard members began pruning our apple trees.
And finally… our soft fruit bed received a well needed prune.
After a two year gap, we are going to celebrate Earth Hour together again in the Orchard! Our orchard and allotment members will be switching off their lights, and settling down in the dark, peaceful surroundings of the orchard to celebrate Earth Hour together.
Earth Hour was started in 2007 by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney to raise awareness of climate change, Earth Hour is now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment. Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages supporters in more than 190 countries and territories, all taking action to ensure a brighter future for people and planet.
For more information please click here to visit the Earth Hour website
During one of our February work sessions, we took the chance to wander round the orchard. The hazelnut and cob trees are moving already and we have a lovely display of catkins.
Our traditional Wassailing day took place again on a chilly but fairly dry day. The Green Man attended and we feed the trees with bread and cider and made lots of noise to wake the trees up from their winter sleep. Hopefully the bread and cider will encourage a bumper crop of apples this year. We were lucky to be accompanied by some wonderful musicians and singers who added to the fun. Many thanks to them!
This year alongside our apple harvest day we set up a stall in the village. Apples of all varieties were placed on the stand and everyone was invited to taste these heritage varieties rarely seen in shops.
Despite another year of Covid-19 restrictions, all the volunteers in the Community Orchard have been able to continue on the maintainance and development of the fruit beds and trees.
Paintings by the Grandparents Climate Change Group have been exhibited alongside the painted Easter Eggs. The Orchard event continues throughout the week, ending on Sunday.
The orchard has been decorated with hand painted Easter Eggs to celebrate Easter. Members, family and friends of all ages from 18 months to 97 helped to decorate the eggs. A walk around the orchard showed the amazing variety and creativity of everyone who joined in with the event.
As well as spotting the Easter Eggs, you could lookout for ‘rabbits’ and Peter Rabbit. Families who took part were able to claim a chocolately treat donated by Lanchester Wines. We hope you were able to come up and wander round. If not, you might like to see some of the decoreated eggs in the photos below.