This area used to be the gardens of the houses on Pack Lane so it still retains some trees and shrubs planted between 1914 and 1930. They reflect the plot boundaries which used to run north-south across this green space, there are still raspberries, blackberries, hazel and bullace (an old damson species) which the residents planted.
A ring of hawthorns was planted behind 124 Pack Lane which was still intact albeit tall and straggly – until one-third of them were cut down by mistake by tree surgeon contractors in 2012, compromising the integrity of the remainder – they too will be removed in the next couple of years.
Towards Derwent Road there stands a mighty walnut tree which we believe was planted in 1919 – so is 100 years old this year – in memory of someone lost in WWI, but we do not know of whom.
The beech trees planted along a plot boundary at the eastern end of the Orchard also date from before WWI and in the nature of mature beech trees have started to drop branches somewhat unpredictably. Being on public land the local authority feels bound to eliminate the risk of falling branches on people or property so they are being felled or reduced in stages as needs be.
Two very old fruit trees remain – the Conference pear tree and the Blenheim Orange apple tree. The apple tree still bears a huge crop of apples in alternate years but all 3 main stems are hollow to a greater or lesser degree and it will not be with us forever. It was the existence of these two trees, which must be approaching their centenaries, which prompted KCG to start a small community orchard here in 2006.