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 25th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A mix of tasks . We have a few jobs to complete at the orchard over this period and we cannot be specific what we will be doing each day. We are still deciding on the design of the shed but plan to get it built, there are more benches to go in, we will be planting some nectar rich plants and finishing paths. 

All this as well as general tree care and grass management.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Thursday 24th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A mix of tasks . We have a few jobs to complete at the orchard over this period and we cannot be specific what we will be doing each day. We are still deciding on the design of the shed but plan to get it built, there are more benches to go in, we will be planting some nectar rich plants and finishing paths. 

All this as well as general tree care and grass management.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 18th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A mix of tasks . We have a few jobs to complete at the orchard over this period and we cannot be specific what we will be doing each day. We are still deciding on the design of the shed but plan to get it built, there are more benches to go in, we will be planting some nectar rich plants and finishing paths. 

All this as well as general tree care and grass management.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Thursday 17th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A mix of tasks . We have a few jobs to complete at the orchard over this period and we cannot be specific what we will be doing each day. We are still deciding on the design of the shed but plan to get it built, there are more benches to go in, we will be planting some nectar rich plants and finishing paths. 

All this as well as general tree care and grass management.

 

Blossom Day; Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 11th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Well, who knows if there will be blossom…Today will be a mixture of practical and social – we would like as many people as possible to visit the orchard so please invite your family, friends, neighbours etc. to come between 11 and 3pm

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 4th May, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

A mix of tasks . We have a few jobs to complete at the orchard over this period and we cannot be specific what we will be doing each day. We are still deciding on the design of the shed but plan to get it built, there are more benches to go in, we will be planting some nectar rich plants and finishing paths. 

All this as well as general tree care and grass management.

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 16th February, 2018
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Today we focussed on thinning out and reducing the height of some of the perimeter trees. It is important we do let these get too big as we do not want them shade the allotments. It also supports the allotment association’s aims to get better views across the allotments  in a bid to improve security. 

Thank you to the volunteers who helped transport volunteers and tools in the absence of the minibus. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

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

Cancelled due to ice, illness and flat battery in the minibus

Bowling Park Community Orchard

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

Another cold start, and today the temperature cannot have risen much above freezing as none of the snow or ice melted, even in full sun. We made a tentative start to the pruning; it’s not ideal in such cold conditions but also we wanted to complete the installation of the veg bed to avoid carrying timber around again. We have used oak sleepers, so whilst we will appreciate the durability, they were heavy to handle and resisted the nails. We persevered and completed the job. 

We pruned almost all the soft fruit – this has been missed the past couple of years, so whilst it leaves us with a lot of pruning to do on subsequent visits, it was a prickly job, well done. 

 
 

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….!