Never mind the damp conditions surrounding The Piggeries orchard, we are delighted to report a successful planting day this last Saturday.
Over twenty volunteers worked hard, sometimes almost back breaking, to collect rubble all over the site. These stones, bricks and rather large and heavy blocks of concrete now enjoy a second life and form a habitat for newts and other reptiles and amphibians.
The old advertising sign for the adjacent housing development was taken down, dismantled and re-purposed for our first on-site composting and leaf-mulching areas.
Many more brambles were removed all over the site, and last not least, between 400 and 500 fruiting hedge plants were planted along the fence by the towpath and along the back wall. Varieties include Hazel (corylus avellana), Quickthorn (crataegus monogyna), Blackthorn, also known as Sloe (prunus spinosa), Dog Rose (rosa canina), Ramanas Rose (rosa rugosa), Black Elder (sambucus nigra), Cherry Plum (prunus cerasifera myrobalan) and Crabapple (malus evereste).
All along the orchard trail, rabbit guards were reinforced and enlarged to give our young trees that extra bit of protection from hungry rodents.
Our heartfelt thanks go to all helpers on the day, everyone who stopped by or otherwise expressed their support, and of course to the Tree Council, who donated the hedge plants. A surprisingly mild, sunny and impressively productive Saturday!
We plan to add more soft fruit such as gooseberries, redcurrants or raspberries, and we can’t wait to see it all grow.
Watch this site and join us for the next steps at The Piggeries in February or March (planting of soft fruit, sowing of meadow flowers and grass).