This orchard is used by a small holder, who rents it from its’ Alfrick owners. Many small orchards are rented out with grazing and often cropping rights since this provides a small income for the farmer. This can cause problems, since sheep and cattle will damage young trees and even large trees can be damaged by livestock.
Fortunately for TCTOP the grazier was keen to see if this little orchard could be put back on its feet, with some restoration work and with some new planting. Many of the fields surrounding it have remnants of once quite extensive orchards in them, and although the old trees are great for wildlife the orchards are disappearing.
Our volunteers have planted new trees close to the roadside so that local people can see that the orchard is going to have a new lease of life . We’re using a tough sheep proof mesh to guard them, which is cheap, long lasting and makes a statement. Although the mesh is visually attractive it stands out in the landscape.
And we’re also returning local rare varieties to the areas they once grew in. The new trees here were specially grown for us from graftwood, some provided by Brogdales and some collected from a few surviving trees, to make sure that old Worcestershire varieties are not lost to the area. They may provide a genetic resource for the future.