What's on at the orchard?
Apple Day 2018
The date for Apple Day 2018 is Sunday 14th October, 12noon to 4pm, at the orchard.
The event is free, but without the generous donations made by visitors we would not be able to hire marquees and the toilet.
If you wish to volunteer at the event or helping to set up the marquees etc please get in touch in advance so we can plan transport and tasks.
Blossom Open Days 2018
Friday 11th May 11am-3pm and Saturday 19th May 10am-1pm.
You are invited to come along to the orchard to enjoy the blossom, have a look around and learn more about the orchard.
There will be the normal Friday Volunteer Group activities 11th, or you can just pop in for a cup of tea and a chat, or to have a go at some drawing or minibeast searches.
We are still a bit unsure what the blossom will do this year; a cold winter especially March, but a few warm days in mid April. The first signs of plum blossom were showing on April 21st. With two dates to choose from we can't go wrong...?!
Friends of BPCO
The Friends of Bowling Park Community Orchard was established in 2005 to take forward responsibility for management of the orchard. It is a loose, unconstituted organisation which to date is mainly made up of BEES volunteers. The 'friends' commit to management sessions to supplement the volunteer task days that BEES organise at the orchard. We plan to have work sessions in the evening during summer months, and dates will be publicised here once they are arranged. Anyone is welcome to join the group, please contact BEES is you are interested.
Our first wassail
We enjoyed our first wassail at the orchard at the end of January 2017. We'd thought of doing it many times, but never quite got round to it.
Sue led us in a few appropriate words around Belle de Boskoop, our most productive tree, but really it was just an excuse to have a social gathering at the orchard. We had a fire to get rid of prunings and hedge cuttings and it was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and take stock of what we need to do to have a successful year ahead.
There are some key tasks to undertake; revamping the paths, benches and shelters, ongoing grass cutting, weeding etc. We need to create more storage for apples. Can we make something (a straw bale shed, flowering roof?), or shall we buy a shed? We want to continue to increase nectar sources in the orchard so the bees are happy all year round.
How do we coordinate work days and harvesting visits? Interestingly a re-read of our management plan (attached at the bottom of this page) highlights the lack of any mention of the harvest! This is now a key task, and crucial that we plan it properly so that we make the best use of the apples.
So, at the same time as updating the management plan we will make sure this year's action plan reflects what we need to do and how we are going to do it.
If you have got any ideas, or want to get involved, please get in touch.
About Bowling Park Community Orchard
The orchard is developed on six disused allotment plots adjacent to Bowling Park.
In March 2003 we planted over 40 trees including
- 35 varieties of apple,
- 6 pears and
- 4 plums.
The orchard is managed by BEES conservation volunteers and we have established the Friends of Bowling Park Community Orchard who we hope will take responsibility for the orchard into the future. New members are welcome - please contact BEES if you wish to find out more.
The management plan is attached at the bottom of the page. It gives an overview of the orchard; background, ethos, intentions and an outline of the seasonal work plan.
Please get in touch if you have any comments.
The harvesting record shows the weight of each variety of apple harvested each year.
Community Orchard Development
BEES has been involved in developing Community Orchards at Bowling Park Allotments, Redcliffe (Keighley) and in many school grounds.
We see them as a place to grow fruit, develop wildlife habitats and create sociable urban green space.
Orchard cultivation nationally has declined by 57% since 1950. Community Orchards offer the opportunity to counteract this decline whilst learning and sharing fruit growing skills and growing varieties that are distinctive of our locality and that we cannot readily buy elsewhere. They offer space for wildlife and for the community to celebrate and enjoy the harvest and heritage surrounding fruit growing and its use.
You can find the Orchard on Google Maps with this address; Bowling Park Community Orchard, Bowling Park Drive, Bradford BD4 7ES
By Bus from Bradford Interchange
Bus information is also available at: www.wymetro.com
The orchard is within the allotment site which can only be accessed from Bowling Park Drive.
Open access is available when we are holding events. If you wish to visit at other times please contact us.
I'm not sure if this bus info is up to date , especially for Sundays. Will check soon
624 - Get off at Paley Road near the Junction of Bowling Park Drive.
675 - Get off at Parkside Road near the Junction with Avenue road