Community Orchard


 

The Bishopthorpe Community Orchard occupies what was once a disused piece of land on the edge of Ferry Lane, now transformed into a community orchard for everyone to enjoy.

Bishopthorpe Parish Council secured Heritage Lottery funding for this project, which launched in October 2018 and all major work was completed by the end of 2019. The project has been run by a team of local volunteers, with much appreciated help from villagers, local businesses, playgroup, Scouts, and sports groups. Thank you all for your help!

The trees that have been planted will take a few years to bear fruit, but in the meantime the area has been grassed and seeded with wildflowers to give a lovely place to relax and enjoy nature.

Although the main project has now finished, the project team is still interested in identifying additional varieties of old fruit trees in the village. Please get in touch at bishorchard@yahoo.com if you have samples that you think might be interesting and you would like identified.

Information Board

An interpretation board on site gives some key information on the history of orchards in Bishopthorpe, and the types of fruit trees and wildflowers planted here. Click on the picture to view in more detail.

Here’s a planting guide showing the various types of fruit trees that are now growing in the orchard.

Initial planting includes 10 apple varieties, 2 pears, 2 plums, and 1 gage. Further planting of filbert and blackberry is planned

 

Project Timeline

To see a summary of the project and the activities involved in building our orchard from scratch, please click here

And here are a few images of the project in progress over the year.

The Orchard site before work started
Scouts and volunteers help clear the site in January
The cleared area
Forest Schools Group and Bishopthorpe Playgroup sowing grass and wildflower seeds in April
Volunteers planting fruit trees in October
More trees awaiting attention

Three newsletters were published during the life of the project, giving additional information and photographs showing what was happening at each stage, along with the varieties of fruit trees considered for inclusion in the finished orchard. Please follow the links to read these newsletters:

Newsletter 1 November 2018

Newsletter 2 June 2019

Newsletter 3 December 2019

Publications

Bishopthorpe in Blossom is a booklet now available for sale, containing lots of information on Bishopthorpe’s long history of fruit growing and the varieties of fruit traditionally grown in the area.

Please click on the picture for more details. You can buy a copy at Bishopthorpe library, Brunswick Organic Nursery, or from the Bishopthorpe Archive (open in the village hall, Mondays 2.30-5pm).

Other books that may be of interest and helped with the orchard project are available in the referen, section of Bishopthorpe Library:

Bishopthorpe Orchard Project Fruit Tree Report

Fruit Tree Handbook by Ben Pike

The Apple Book by Rosie Sanders

Community Orchards Handbook by Sue Clifford

The Northern Pomona – apples for cool climates by Peter Blackburn-Maze

Documents relating to the Orchard Project are also kept in the Bishopthorpe Village Archive