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.

Blossom Open Days 2018

Friday 11th May 11am-3pm and Saturday 19th May 10am-1pm. 

You are invited to come along to the orchard to enjoy the blossom, have a look around and learn more about the orchard.  

There will be the normal Friday Volunteer Group activities 11th, or you can just pop in for a cup of tea and a chat, or to have a go at some drawing or minibeast searches.

We are still a bit unsure what the blossom will do this year; a cold winter especially March, but a few warm days in mid April. The first signs of plum blossom were showing on April 21st. With two dates to choose from we can't go wrong...?! 

 

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 straw 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
 

Bowling Park Community Orchard Management Plan

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

APPLE DAY at the orchard

Sunday 14th October, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

The event runs from 12-4pm.

If you wish to volunteer please let us know in advance. There will only be an early pick up at Culture Fusion (c. 8.30am), so it would help us greatly if you could make your own way there if you don’t fancy the early start. Volunteer tasks include putting marquees up (and down), helping with the juicing, teas and coffees and selling chutneys, apples etc. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 12th October, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Final site preparations for Apple Day, plus harvesting.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard - to be updated

Friday 28th September, 2018

We will probably be at the orchard (in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive) , but may change at short notice. We will email and update the website.

[At this stage we would like to keep the schedule for September flexible. We need to get the shed built by the end of the month. Some of this will be in the workshop, but when we come to the actual construction it will need to be consecutive days, in dry weather. We will email specific work days as we progress. If you only receive the programme by post and want to be kept informed then please ring the office to let us know].

Bowling Park Community Orchard - to be updated

Friday 21st September, 2018
either orchard or workshop

We will probably be at the orchard (in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive) , but may change at short notice. We will email and update the website.

[At this stage we would like to keep the schedule for September flexible. We need to get the shed built by the end of the month. Some of this will be in the workshop, but when we come to the actual construction it will need to be consecutive days, in dry weather. We will email specific work days as we progress. If you only receive the programme by post and want to be kept informed then please ring the office to let us know].

Bowling Park Community Orchard - to be updated

Friday 14th September, 2018
either orchard or workshop

We will probably be at the orchard (in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive) , but may change at short notice. We will email and update the website.

[At this stage we would like to keep the schedule for September flexible. We need to get the shed built by the end of the month. Some of this will be in the workshop, but when we come to the actual construction it will need to be consecutive days, in dry weather. We will email specific work days as we progress. If you only receive the programme by post and want to be kept informed then please ring the office to let us know].

Orchard project - in Culture Fusion workshop.

Friday 7th September, 2018
125 Thornton Road

We are going to be at Culture Fusion today, working in the workshop on the timberwork for the shed. 

[At this stage we would like to keep the schedule for September flexible. We need to get the shed built by the end of the month. Some of this will be in the workshop, but when we come to the actual construction it will need to be consecutive days, in dry weather. We will email specific work days as we progress. If you only receive the programme by post and want to be kept informed then please ring the office to let us know].

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 20th July, 2018
in allotments on Bowling Park Drive

beesbeesThe walling stone arrived today so the first job, for some, was to barrow it over the shed area and sort to assess size. Dennis then set about completing the rectangle to form the foundations. There is more to be done but a good start was made. 

We cut branches cut overhanging from around the pond to allow more light in. This will be completed in winter. More water was carried and barrowed from the water butt. Let’s hope it is of help to the pondlife.

The flower bed by Keswick Codling has been weeded and the Field Scabious is looking good. Straw was laid under Beauty of Bath and Katy – the two trees that are most likely have fallers that we don’t want to bruise. Two of the fallen apples were eaten – the first of the year – and no they weren’t quite ripe!

Also more weeding, watering and fruit picking. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 13th July, 2018
in allotments on Bowling Park Drive

Another day at the orchard, and even though I messed up on arranging a delivery of stone, there was still plenty to do, not least picking more blackcurrants and gooseberries. 

More preparation of the shed area was done, including distributing the bagged compost around the trees. Ash from the fire was also sprinkled under the trees and fruit bushes to add potash to the soil. 

We started on the hedge cutting tasks with great affect, especially where it will let more sun onto the lower branches of Katy. Of course we now have more hedge cuttings to dispose of after burning the last lot last week.  Alison made a start on weeding the bed nears Keswick Codling and Maddy made great progress removing nettles and cleavers from the hedges around the fruit bushes. Safaa and Tesfaye did a sterling job carry water from the water butts to the pond in the far opposite corner of the orchard

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 22nd June, 2018
in allotments on Bowling Park Drive

What a scorcher. Just the weather for digging great deep holes for the remaining benches! We have now completed our replacement of the benches, they are in a slightly different, less symmetric arrangement, but perfectly good to sit on. 

Extra netting was added to the fruit bed, which were weeded and mulched with comfrey. 

More mowing, more weeding, more watering; all expected fare in June on an allotment. 

Hoverflies on the hogweed, ringlets and meadow brown butterflies and lacewings in the grass, bees on the comfrey. It looks like we are managing to attract the beneficial insects required for organic gardening. 

 
 

Bowling Park Orchard

Friday 8th June, 2018
in allotments on Bowling Park Drive

We secured posts to support netting over the gooseberries and blackcurrants today, though it exposed the imminent need to replace the rotting bed edging in the near future. More weeding and watering of vegetables and flowers, and mowing of the pathways. 

Well done to Tesfaye who managed to coax the reluctant wacker plate into life. We had barrowed 2 tonne of fine path topping to improve the final surface of the shelter, and put some aside to foot the shed. 

The comfrey is in flower attracting a lot of bees. It is evident that the frost has damaged some of the flowers as developing fruit is limited, though not necessarily to a bad extent – it will ave thinning out the clusters.