Events with Dorking Community Orchard

Work Day

Join us on Sunday 17 February at 10am for a work session at the orchard.  We will be dealing mostly with the protection structures around the trees–removing them in some instances where the trees have become large enough and strengthening them around some of the newer trees.

This event is free and will run for approximately four hours.  Feel free to join us for whatever length of time you can.  We will provide hot drinks and cake/biscuits but please bring your own lunch.  Don’t forget to wear work gloves and dress warmly.

Gentle reminder:  Toilet facilities are not available at the orchard.

For more information call Jane at 07546-217-793 or email orchardfriend@gmail.com

Back by Popular Demand:  Our Second Workshop on Pruning Mature Fruit Trees at Polesden Lacey

 The National Trust is restoring a neglected orchard near Polesden Lacey, and Dorking Community Orchard is helping!

Join us at the Yew Tree Farm Orchard for a one-day pruning workshop.  Find out how to prune and restore mature and neglected apple trees, and encourage them to return to fruiting – and take away what you have learnt to apply to other trees you know!  Tutor and tree expert, Alex Valsecchi, will be on hand to demonstrate procedures and guide participation.  This is a rare opportunity to work on a number of established trees (planted in the 1980’s?), in the beautiful surroundings of the Polesden Lacey estate.

If you did the workshop last year (can you believe it has been a year?) you remember just what a good time we all had and how much we learned.  We’ll be examining the trees we pruned last year to see how they have fared.

Booking is essential for this workshop, as participants will be limited to 25.

 

When:  Sunday 3 March, from 10am to 3pm

Where:  The site is Yew Tree Farm Orchard at Polesden Lacey.  You will receive directions upon booking.

Cost:  £5 for members of Dorking Community Orchard.  £10 for non-members.  Membership in Dorking Community Orchard is £10 per year.  What a deal!

Important stuff:  Please dress for the weather – we’ll have a marquee set up but there will be no regular shelter nearby.  Toilet facilities are not available.  We’ll supply tea and biscuits but you should bring your own lunch.  Please bring loppers and secateurs if you have them.

Booking:  Send a cheque to:   Dorking Community Orchard, PO Box 562, Dorking RH4 9GF

For more information call Jane at 07546-217-793 or email orchardfriend@gmail.com.

The Pruning Workshops

Thanks to everyone who turned out to our pruning workshops in March and April.

Twenty of us gathered at Polesden Lacey’s Yew Tree Orchard  for a day of learning how to prune neglected trees.  Most of the fruit trees at this orchard were 25 -30 years old and it had been several years since anyone had tended them properly.

Our tree expert, Alessandra (Alex) Valsecchi, showed us the hows and whys of mature tree pruning and we all got a chance –several chances actually, to put our new knowledge to work.  By the end of the day –which was a beautiful, warm, sunny day–the older orchard was looking distinctly trimmed and fresh.

Alex teaching
Alex at Yew Tree Orchard

On a much chillier day on 15 April a small, but keen, crowd gathered to learn how to prune new fruit trees.  We then tended to the 90 plus new trees at Dorking Community Orchard putting the orchard in good shape for the growing season.

Pruning a new apple tree.

Pruning Workshop on 25 March

 Pruning Mature Fruit Trees at Polesden Lacey

 

The National Trust is restoring a neglected orchard near Polesden Lacey, and Dorking Community Orchard is helping!

 

Join us at the Yew Tree Farm Orchard for a one-day pruning workshop.  Find out how to prune and restore mature and neglected apple trees, and encourage them to return to fruiting – and take away what you have learnt to apply to other trees you know!  Tutor and tree expert, Alex Valsecchi, will be on hand to demonstrate procedures and guide participation.  This is a rare opportunity to work on a number of established trees (planted in the 1980’s?), in the beautiful surroundings of the Polesden Lacey estate.

 

Booking is essential for this workshop, as participants will be limited to 25.

 

When:  Sunday 25 March, from 10am to 4pm

Where:  The site is Yew Tree Farm Orchard at Polesden Lacey.  You will receive directions upon booking.

Cost:  £5 for members of Dorking Community Orchard.  £10 for non-members.  Membership in Dorking Community Orchard is £10 per year.  What a deal!

Important stuff:  Please dress for the weather – we’ll have a marquee set up but there will be no regular shelter nearby.  Toilet facilities are not available.  We’ll supply tea and biscuits but you should bring your own lunch.  Please bring loppers and secateurs if you have them.

Booking:  Send a cheque to:   Dorking Community Orchard, PO Box 562, Dorking RH4 9GF

For more information call Jane at 07546-217-793 or email orchardfriend@gmail.com.

 

Winter Newsletter

The Dorking Community Orchard is now over 2 years old, and is starting to move into the next phase of its existence. We now have over 100 fruit trees growing at the Ranmore site, the majority of which are trees we have planted as “1 year maidens” over the past 2 winters. The orchard now includes:

  • 60 dessert apple trees (eaters – 11 varieties)
  • 5 culinary apple trees (cookers)
  • 8 cider apple trees
  • 10 pear trees
  • 7 plums and gauge trees
  • Plus various others – medlars, crabapple, cherries and walnuts

Despite some harsh weather – particularly the dry spring last year – we have managed to lose very few of the trees we planted, and the new trees are looking healthy and ready to take off in the spring.

With the basic ingredients of a fine productive orchard now in place, we are turning our attention more towards the long-term sustainability of the orchards. Projects and activities planned for 2012 include:

  • Another Planting and Pruning workshop, to include some small-scale planting and the care and maintenance of young fruit trees.
  • In a new initiative, we will be helping the National Trust restore a neglected orchard of about 30 mature apple trees on the Polesden Lacey estate, about 1.5  miles from the Community Orchard site. We are planning a Workshop which will be a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience renovating old fruit trees.
  • We have purchased 100 apple rootstock, which have been planted out in a new Nursery Area at the orchard, and which will be used in a series of Fruit Tree Propagation workshops, starting in July 2012. These workshop sessions will be an opportunity to learn about grafting and budding, and will allow participants to create their own fruit trees from buds or cuttings taken from (say) a favorite productive local apple variety.
  • We will continue with various educational activities, including school visits, ecological surveys etc, and with our “Lost Orchards of Dorking” project.

But more than anything else, we want you, the Friends of the Orchard, to come and use the place – for afternoons with the family, for picnics, exploring, or finding orchids or butterflies. It is becoming a lovely place to be on a sunny day, and should be a real treat when the blossom is out in the spring. Please come, and see for yourself!

 

Friends of the Orchard

As a ‘Friend of the Orchard’ you are also a Member of the ‘Dorking Community Orchard CIC’, and as such have the collective power to replace any (or all) of the Directors of the CIC (who are, basically, the Core Team). We do not intend to call a General Meeting this year, although this can be done if requested. Our accounts for the past year will be posted on our website, https://dorkingcommunityorchard.wordpress.com/

We have been asking Friends to contribute £10 per year to support the Orchard, and you will soon be receiving a request to renew your membership with some important information about online giving. This provides a very important base income, and makes our other fundraising activities much easier as we can demonstrate a significant degree of ongoing community support for the orchard project. Thank you again for your support.

Best wishes,

Nick Wright

Dorking Community Orchard