Bowling Park Community Orchard
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 pruninings 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 staw 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.
Bradford Apple Day 2016.
Was held at the Orchard on Sunday 16th October from midday until 4pm.
- We will be pressing apples to make fresh juice. Please bring along your spare apples to add to the press.
- There will be a chance to buy apples from the orchard and jams and chutneys made from our fruit.
- You can get horticultural advice and even buy a tree (from Beardsworth Nursery)
- You can get your apples identified by Anne Lee from the Northern Fruit Group - please bring 3 apples, a twig and leaf
- Bring your friends and family to join in with the games, activities and enjoy a variety of fruity cakes and treats.
Directions (we do not guarentee bus information is up to date)
Management Work at the Orchard in 2016 is being supported by Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust
Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust have given funding to Bradford Apple Group to support practical management of the orchard.
This grant, directed towards BEES as managers of the orchard, first supported some of the summer work; restrictive pruning of the cordons and espaliers, mulching the trees to control the vegetation growth and mowing the paths through the grass.
We will continue to benefit from this grant by the support it offers for the autumn tasks of cutting the areas of long grass (left long through the summer to provide habitat for the predators of pests in the orchard), repairing seating and of course harvesting the fruit. It will also support the winter pruning and some hedge laying.
Scheduled volunteer days at the orchard; Friday 23rd September and Friday 14th October
A full list of volunteer tasks can be viewed on the volunteer page.
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.
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.
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 responbsibility for the orchard into the future. New members are welcome - please contact BEES if you wish to find out more.
|BPCO Harvesting Record.xls||26.5 KB|
|BPCO Management plan 2014 min.pdf||841.38 KB|