Spring 2014 Update
The Meadow -Flash news!
At the end of April and beginning of May a cuckoo has been heard calling in Down Grange Meadow several times, for the first time (certainly since 2006). Regrettably our ornithology expert did not hear a reply…. so it may not stop but search on.
What a wonderful blossom Spring this is proving to be! Lets hope that this translates into a good fruit year.
As we finished the Spring working season we just about finished the mini-dead hedges we have been creating over last few months. What i the idea?
Early on in our plans for the Orchard we had a natural break point between the kick-about grass area and the beginning of the Community Orchard proper by the oak trees. This was never very clearly indicated but a few years ago we asked some of the local youngsters to plant some shrubs along that line – 5 years later some of them have done very well – others have been slower to grow. What was needed was a support frame to enable them to be encouraged to form a hedegrow – so we created the narrow dead hedging you can see, tied the scramblers to it and ‘layed’ the hazels along it. In time this will then become a ‘live hedgerow’ instead of the ‘dead’ one.
Further into the Orchard area there is another small arc of dead hedging which has been treated in the same way and again , in time , will form a live hedge. neither of these features is intended to grow more than four feet high but should present the birds and insects with flowers and berries during the year.