Bowling Park Community Orchard

bee on Keswick Codling Blossom: Bees are essential for the pollination of the fruit, so we manage 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.

Apple Day 2017

Join us at Bowling Park Community Orchard for this year's Apple Day celebration on Sunday 15th October from 12 noon until 4pm

There will be food and drinks, freshly pressed apple juice, trees, apples and chutneys for sale, horticultural advice, a chnce to get your apples identified adn games and activities. 

We are delightled to have received a grant from Local Postcode Trust to support work at the orchard this year. As well as supporting Apple Day and infrastructure improvemnets to the orchard, we will be organising harvest sessions, cooking sessions and visits. We are busy putting a schedule togther and will let you know as soon as dates are set. 

Blossom Day 2017

Friday 12th May 11am-3pm

You are invited to come along to the orchard between 11am and 3pm this Friday to enjoy the blossom and have a look around. 

There will be the normal Friday Volunteer Group activities, or you can just pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. 

The blossom started over a month earlier this year than the previous two, but fingers crossed it will still be looking good this week. Let's just hope it hasn't been too cold for the pollinating bees. 

 

Our first wassail.

We enjoyed our first wassail at the orchard at the end of January 2017. We'd thought of doing it many times, but never quite got round to it. 

Sue led us in a few appropriate words around Belle de Boskoop, our most productive tree, but really it was just an excuse to have a social gathering at the orchard. We had a fire to get rid of pruninings and hedge cuttings and it was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and take stock of what we need to do to have a successful year ahead.

There are some key tasks to undertake; revamping the paths, benches and shelters, ongoing grass cutting, weeding etc. We need to create more storage for apples. Can we make something (a staw bale shed, flowering roof?), or shall we buy a shed? We want to continue to increase nectar sources in the orchard so the bees are happy all year round.

How do we coordinate work days and harvesting visits?  Interestingly a re-read of our management plan (attached at the bottom of this page) highlights the lack of any mention of the harvest! This is now a key task, and crucial that we plan it properly so that we make the best use of the apples. 

So, at the same time as updating the management plan we will make sure this year's action plan reflects what we need to do and how we are going to do it. 

If you have got any ideas, or want to get involved, please get in touch
 


Bradford Apple Day 2016. 

Was held 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 a chance to buy apples from the orchard and jams and chutneys made from our fruit. 
  • You can get horticultural advice and even buy a tree (from Beardsworth Nursery)
  • You can get your apples identified by Anne Lee from the Northern Fruit Group - please bring 3 apples, a twig and leaf
  • 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

______________________________________________________________________________

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

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 19th January, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Continuing with the winter pruning, coppicing some of the boundary trees to allow more light to get in to the fruit trees. We think the Friends of BPCO will have a fire and wassail on Sat 20th Jan. Keep in touch via the FoBPCO Facebook group or ask for your email to be added to the list to be kept informed. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 8th December, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

We will make a start on the winter pruning of the fruit trees. In addition there are tasks to continue to prepare the space for the storage shed and carry on with work on the compost bins and the seating areas. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 13th October, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

Final touches before Apple Day. The last bench, for the moment, was installed, and another had new legs installed. Final bits of grass cutting, weeding and removal of fallen apples made the orchard vaguely presentable. More apples were harvested – we had to take these away as the shed was full of ones ready for the juicer on Sunday. They will come back on Sunday. If only we had a storage shed for the apples….!

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 6th October, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

06 10 17We had another couple of bags of hardcore delivered today and have finished levelling the shelter area. We will assess how it goes on Apple Day, perhaps we will run a whacker plate over it when we get a new one or can borrow one. Bothe the tables/work surfaces are finished under the shelter and we are looking forward to them being transformed into cake and falapple stalls next weekend. 

Three of the four news benches were installed by the espaliers. The timber legs are rather larger than ideal but we worked with them and the space is looking inviting. 

Most of the grass has now been cut though we will need to finish this off next week. Despite not having a mower we are doing a good job. We also did the inevitable job of collecting windfalls and harvesting from the trees. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 22nd September, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A great few days during which we have managed to make a big impact on the state of the orchard. The path through the main part of the orchard has been cleared of bark (this has been reused near the shelter) and vegetation and replaced with hard core. Thanks to Forest of Bradford Volunteers who were a great help getting the majority of the stone barrowed up from the gate. We may top it off with some fine stone but that will have to wait until after Apple Day as we still have a few other jobs on the go which we need to complete. 

We have almost finished the construction of a couple of work tops/tables under the shelter. These will be useful for events, school groups and just in general. Let’s hope they don’t attract the attention of the fire starters. 

Progress has been made with reducing the height of hedges to the permitted 5 foot, this should be completed on our next visit. Already we can see how much more light is getting to Katy. We have prepared a bed to plant with nectar rich flowers, and made a start on cutting the grass. There have been quite a lot of apples falling from the trees, many before we would expect that variety to be ripe. We have cleared a lot, hoping some will last until juicing at Apple Day. 

I really feel we have a significantly smaller harvest his year, so make sure you get along to harvest sessions, work sessions, Shipley Alternative market or Apple Day if you want to buy some apples. 

Keep a breast of dates on the Operation Orchard page. 

We will add more photos to the gallery as we progress 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Thursday 21st September, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Please arrive at CF by 9.30am

We are continuing to tackle the infrastructure improvements at the orchard, with the aim of installing the new benches, paths and shelter tables and ‘floor’ before Apple Day.

If you plan to come today it would be useful if you could let us know. Thanks

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Wednesday 20th September, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Please arrive at CF by 9.30am  

We are continuing to tackle the infrastructure improvements at the orchard, with the aim of installing the new benches, paths and shelter tables and ‘floor’ before Apple Day. There will also be hedge cutting, grass cutting and harvesting.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 8th September, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

We made a start in levelling the ground under the shelter today. The job itself wasn’t too hard, but we were using up left over stoney soil from the carpark so getting the bags there was pretty gruelling.  We also made a start adding some more support to the shelter to extend it’s life. 

There were also apples to pick, onions to dig and general planning and measuring to do. 

Bowling Park Community orchard

Friday 4th August, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Two successful days during which we re-roofed the big shelter in the event space, and removed and replaced the roof over the shed. The roofing on the big shelter was fairly straight forward (challenging but manageable), working systematically along the roof nailing the corrugated bitumen sheets to the roof frame. I’d miscalculated the number of nails needed so it was all but finished by the time we left on Thursday, with the last few fixings put in on Friday morning.  To strengthen the frame of the shelter we have added some extra vertical supports, and will add more when we are next there. 

The roof that covers the small shed had bowed significantly with pools of water collecting where it slumped. So before securing the new sheeting we added some extra joists to support the roof, but we will need to make sure we brush fallen leaves off the top at regular intervals. 

We also made a good start with cutting the hedges. And we picked the first ripe Beauty of Bath apples. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 28th July, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We made a great start today with some of the infrastructure improvements that we are undertaking over the next few months. We removed the perished roofing of the large shelter and aim to replace it next week, working on Thursday and Friday. 

The main sections of compost bins will be moved to make way for the shed to be built, and a great start was made in clearing these and establishing areas for the bins to be relocated. 

The scythes were useful for cutting the taller vegetation including areas of nettles, ground elder and hogweed. Our mower has been stolen so we it was less easy to shorten the edges of the main path and the paths through the long grass. 

We were pleased to see quite a few small frogs plus a number of moths, butterflies and a patrolling Brown Hawker dragonfly.