Bowling Park Community Orchard

bee on Keswick Codling Blossom: Bees are essential for the pollination of the fruit, so we amange the orchard to attract them.bee on Keswick Codling Blossom:
Bees are essential for the pollination of the fruit, so we manage the orchard to attract them.

Bradford Apple Day 2016. 

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 horticultural advice and a chance to buy apples from the orchard and jams and chutneys made from our fruit. 

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

Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust

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.

BPCOrchard Harvesting Record

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BEES has been involved in developing Community Orchards at Bowling Park Allotments, Redcliffe (Keighley) and in many school grounds.

Why?
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.

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 responbsibility for the orchard into the future. New members are welcome - please contact BEES if you wish to find out more.

More...
Directions and travel advice to find the orchard.

Photo Gallery

 

External Links
Common Ground
The orchard in 2005 2 1 2 appple day 2006

 

AttachmentSize
BPCO Harvesting Record.xls26.5 KB
BPCO Management plan 2014 min.pdf841.38 KB

Location

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Task List - Bowling Park Community Orchard

APPLE DAY at the Orchard

Sunday 16th October, 2016

Event 12-4pm.

Preparation starts 8.30am, clear up ends about 5.30pm.

Please let us know if you plan to volunteer so we can discuss times and transport.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 14th October, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

Making sure the Orchard is ready for Apple Day on Sunday. Grass cutting, path work and seating areas.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 23rd September, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

We will make a start on the late summer grass cutting and also plan to reinstate some of the seating and collect and spread the stone for the path.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Thursday 28th July, 2016

In contrast to yesterday, it was wet today, but we completed several key tasks. The summer pruning of the cordons and espaliers was just about completed to restrict their growth. They are looking tidier. The hedges were cut. We used cardboard and straw to mulch round more trees, having been pleased with the results from the work done in June. 

There is still plenty of long grass – we watch a Large Skipper butterfly laying eggs, so we will leave the meadow until later in the summer. The alliums we planted earlier in the year were looking good and providing nectar for the insects. 

Some pictures in the gallery 

Bowling Park Community orchard

Wednesday 27th July, 2016

A hot day tackling the weeds and picking the black currants. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 17th June, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

The weather conditions have been great for grasses – we were met, not unexpectedly, be a jungle to clear. By the end of the day we had made quite a difference. The pathways had been cleared as well as vegetation under most of the trees. In addition we used straw to mulch some of the trees and will monitor how effective this is. 

We have been trying to increase the nectar sources in the orchard for pollinators for the periods when the trees aren’t in blossom (though Court Pendu Plat was still flowering) and the Orange Hawkweed and Vipers Bugloss were looking great. We intentionally leave some of the grass long as it offers habitat for peat control species, as well as butterflies such as Ringlet. 

 

Blossom Day at Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 6th May, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

What a surprise! No blossom.. We’ve said it before but this year really was the least blossomy Blossom Day. Although today was warm and sunny on the whole, it was snowing last week so it’s not surprising the blossom is delayed; let’s hope the weather suits the pollinating bees when the flowers open.

A range of activities took place, including some artistic people making tissue blossom and others eating cake. The practical tasks included the predictable weeding, as well las feeding the trees and replacing the gate post. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 19th February, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

Today we completed the winter pruning of the apple trees. We also turned the compost heaps and gave the trees a feed of compost, and a handful or so of seaweed and fine charcoal (a by-product of our barbeque charcoal making that we understand helps to make minerals more accessible to the tree). The shed had a spring clean and was made secure. 

Two years ago Sue and I went to a grafting workshop and ‘created’ two new trees – Aklam Russet and Yorkshire Greening. Today we planted them. They are still fairly small, but make welcome additions to our selection of trees as they will both store well. 

Bradford Apple Group have been successful in receiving a grant form Sovereign Healthcare, who wanted the money to go towards the management of the orchard. 

 
 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 11th December, 2015
In the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

We made a start on the winter pruning today. I wish I had acted on my plan to put tape on branches that, earlier in the year, I had identified for removal. However, we returned to basic principals of removing dead, diseased and dying branches, and those crossing and rubbing. Quite a few trees need to be opened up to allow air circulation and easier harvest – we tried to be thorough. 

We planted some allium blubs, to add to those planted by Rob’s group, along with crocuses, in an attempt to create nectar supplies for the bees before and after the apples are in blossom. 

Willow and dogwood was coppiced, preventing anything getting too big and providing material for a wreath making workshop. 

APPLE DAY - Our annual public event

Sunday 18th October, 2015
Bowling Park Community Orchard

Finger Puppets: Hannah's bee is taking her ladybird for a walk. Finger Puppets: Hannah's bee is taking her ladybird for a walkConsidering the weather we have had over the past few weeks today was a little disappointing. Nothing awful, just autumnal, but luckily it didn’t deter over 400 people coming for our annual celebration of all things apple (and English fruit in general). 

Again we were able to offer a full range of activities with the help of an invaluable team of volunteers, activity leaders from BCEP and stalls held by other groups.

With the help of the enthusiastic participants we made fresh juice from windfalls and other apples that had been stored in waiting (mainly Katy which continues to be such a prolific tree). 113 kg of orchard apples were sold; varieties including Ribston Pippin (always a favourite), Sunset, Arthur Turner, Katy, Grandpa Buxton, Kidd’s Orange Red, Bramley’s seedling, Belle de Boskoop, Egremont Russet and James Grieve. It was great to get help from several families during the afternoon in picking more apples to top up the supplies. 

Belle de Boskoop is a dual purpose apple. It makes a lovely baked apple, and it would normally only be considered ready for eating later in the year once more sugar has developed  but it still came out top in the tasting sessions that BCEP ran. 

Beardsworths Nursery again provided trees for sale and several people left Apple Day ready to grow their own fruit. Martin was busy all day with horticultural advice, and Anne had a stream of people requesting identification of their apples. 

The young people, and the not so young, were guided in scavenger hunts, drawing skills and in making finger puppets and name the apple game.

Cakes were eaten, orchard jams and chutneys were bought, as were lollies and fruit leathers supplied by Plenty and honey by Mark. Entertainment was provided by an impromptu assemblage of musicians. It was another successful Apple Day. Thanks everyone.

See some more pictures here