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.

We will be completing the winter pruning on Friday 19th February.

Blossom Day 2015 was held on 8th May, we will soon plan what date to hold it this year. If the weather continues as it is we may well need to choose an early date. 

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

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.
History
Friends of Bowling Park
Apple Resources
Photo Gallery

We are going to revamp these pages very soon....we promise!

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

Bowling Park Community Orchard

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

We will continue to repair the benches, plus general path clearance and weed control. 

Blossom Day at Bowling Park Community Orchard

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

A lovely time to spend a day in the orchard (assuming we are lucky with the timing of the blossom). The practical tasks will include replacing a gate post, repairing benches and pruning the stone fruit, as well as general tree care and weeding.   

 

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

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 16th October, 2015
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

 

The focus of today was to make sure the orchard was safe and ready to host Apple Day. A few of the wooden benches are in need of repair, but for the time being we have decided to remove those that are too wobbly to be safe.
 
Paths were cleared, the dogwood weeded and some of the beds weeded in preparation for planting crocuses as an early nectar source for our pollinators.
 
As well as the work at the orchard, there was also the job of gathering and loading all the stuff needed for Apple Day – tables, juicing kit, signs, activities, marquees etc etc. By the end of the day all was set, just the cakes to make. 
 

Bowling Park Community Orchard - BEES 30th Anniversary Event

Friday 18th September, 2015

There was lots to do today, but we did manage to eat birthday cake at lunchtime. Thank you for the contributions. There were no speeches, so I’ll take this opportunity say thank you to everyone who has been involved in BEES over the past 30 years. BEES is all about the people; without volunteers and participants we would not be managing green spaces for wildlife and creating educational spaces. Thank you for your contribution.

In terms of the orchard, today were grass and hedge cutting, clearing around the trees, replacing bark with stone on another section of path and picking a few apples. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 14th August, 2015
In the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned! There was a Met Office weather warning so we knew we were in for a wet day and that is how it turned out. But despite becoming very soggy we managed to undertake a few summer tasks. 

We started the restrictive pruning of the cordons in order to keep the branches in a contained shape. We harvested the last of the blackcurrants, gooseberries and worcesterberries and the first of the apples. The beauty of Bath were starting to fall from the tree so we picked those that were coming off at a touch. But they were still fairly sour so we are hoping a bit of sunshine will sweeten them up before they fall. 

We harvested onions but left the garlic until a drier day. We cleared around the bottom of some of the trees, and mowed paths though the grass, but left some as it is still a valuable habitat for the frogs, moths, spiders and other invertebrates that our part of our cultivation management. 

We replaced a small section of path leading to Belvedere and tested using some stone to replace the bark on the path. It seems like it may be a good alternative but we will bring the wacker plate up one day to finish off the task.  

 

8th May 2015

Friday 8th May, 2015
Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We judged the date right - there was a good display of apple blossom (the pear and plum had just about finished). However we didn't manage to do a great deal of publicity so we had a quiet day getting on with some essential tasks. We cut under the trees and the grass in general, especially the areas where the ground elder is taking hold. We tended the vegetable beds and planted some onion seedlings. Belverdere was sanded and treated with preservative.

There was a little artistic dabbling, which we will continue at a later date, and there were cake, flapjack and buns eaten and enjoyed. We retreated just after the rain started. There were 35mm of rain over night, which highlighted how lucky we were to have such a nice day.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 6th March, 2015
In the allotments, Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We had a mix of tasks to get on with today, and were pleased to welcome a group of Level 3 Horticulture students from Shipley College to join us for the morning.

We completed the winter pruning, replaced the legs of the bench that had rotted, carried on with general weeding. We planted some garlic; we normally plant in early winter, so choose a variety that is suited to spring planting (Picardy White). 

As well as the gardening we also created some ‘mini-beast trap doors’. We hope that these will be attractive to some of the little creatures that live in the orchard so that when we visit with school groups they can see what is living in the orchard. 

We saw a couple of bumble bees, a nice sign of Spring!