Orchards, Trees & Orchard Produce
Orchards and Community Orchards to Visit
Alvanley Community Orchard. The Alvanley Church of England Primary School, in partnership with Cheshire Landscape Trust and Alvanley Conservation Society helped set up an orchard of local apple varieties and Cheshire Damson trees at the school in 1989. Pears, plums, medlars and mulberry trees followed. The school grounds are in the centre of the village and Conservation Area, and the orchard is used in a variety of ways to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum in many subject areas. Fruit from the orchard has featured in school lunch menus. Access to the orchard is encouraged, but during school hours, prior arrangements have to be made with the Head Teacher. The orchard is managed organically with the help of pupils, teachers, parents and school grounds staff. Contact: Alvanley C E Primary School, Alvanley, Helsby, Cheshire WA6 9DD, +44(0)1928 722349.
Barrowmore Community Orchard, Great Barrow . Barrowmore is a charity which provides employment, care and accommodation for disabled people. It is based in parkland which until recently was let to a farmer, but has now been taken back for use by Barrowmore. The grounds are used for Training and Education for Sustainable Development. A Community Orchard was begun in 2000 with 90 trees, planted and cared for by the residents and the fruit used for juicing, preserves, cider and the fruit tree wood used for wood turning. Contact: Michael Sanders, Resource Development Manager, Barrowmore, Great Barrow, Chester CH3 7JA, +44(0)1829 740391.
Big Meadow, Willaston, Neston. Big Meadow.An apple orchard planted in 2004 as a small area (300m2) within the Big Meadow of 1.85ha, owned by Cheshire County Council, and managed on a 30 year lease by Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council. The meadow was unused agricultural land, the orchard area an overgrown small-scale market garden. Nine trees were planted in 2004, and three more every year subsequently with old varieties chosen including some Cheshire varieties, planted as standards trees about 3m apart. So far the apples have been used for tasting at the Residents Society AGM, the Local WI meeting and at local Apple Day events. The whole meadow is managed to increase biodiversity. Native trees and hedging have been planted, part of the hedge has been layed, wildflower plugs planted, and there are two ponds. There is full access at all times. The local community and local organisations have supported the orchard Big Meadow since it was established. A monthly work day has been established involving a small group of local volunteers. Contact: Mrs Elaine Mills, Windmill Cottage, Mill Lane, Willaston, Neston CH64 1RQ, +44(0)151 3275160.
Bosley Lock 11 Orchard, 2nd lock from the bottom of Bosley Flight (of 12 locks) on the Macclesfield Canal. SJ 9083 6555 on OS Explorer No.268. An orchard of damsons thought to be 60-170 years old (in 2006), on the opposite bank to a now demolished lockkeepers cottage, at Bosley Lock No.11. The orchard is about 80ft by 100ft and has full access from the towpath and a bridge over the canal. In 1997 the Macclesfield Canal Society planted damson and flowering cherry trees to enhance the orchard, on land owned by British Waterways. The land is wet and rushes grow in the area but the trees are flourishing, and the cherries flower well in May. The trees are not managed but left as quite a wild area. Fruit is collected by passers by, boaters and locals – anyone in the know. Another damson orchard stands alongside Lock 5, but the owners are not known. This orchard is also alongside the site of a now demolished house, and nearby still stands a pub, smithy and Mortar Mill House (canal maintenance). Grid ref: SJ9042 6630. Contact: M.E.Bower, Secretary, Macclesfield Canal Society, c/o 22 Gelfry Drive, Macclesfield, Cheshire Sk10 2TD, +44(0)1625 428734, www.macclesfieldcanal.org.uk
Crewe & Alsager Millennium Orchard. The Dept of Environmental and Leisure Studies of Manchester Metropolitan University co-ordinated the planting of apple, pear and damson trees of local varieties starting in 1999, on land behind the Laurence Building to provide an avenue of blossom for people entering the campus by the pedestrian entrance. A second orchard has been planted on the University’s other campus. The orchard is used by the Conservation unit for teaching, as it is situated next to a main road they were interested in the affects of traffic pollution on fruit.
Dodleston & District Parish Orchard. Planted in November 1995 by children from Dodleston CP School and a group of toddlers with help from teachers, parents, friends, the landowners, Cheshire Landscape Trust and others. Apples, pears, plums, damson and hazel were planted on land donated by Richard and Susan Bellis. The planting day was completed with a feast of apple scones, cakes and pies made by Susan. Contact Cheshire Landscape Trust, +44(0)1244 376333.
Jodrell Bank Science Centre, Holmes Chapel, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DZ. Holds the NCCPG national collection of the ornamental Malus. Jodrell Bank also grows a representative collection of Pyrus and has an apple orchard containing 15 apple varieties, seven of which are Cheshire varieties. Runs annual Apple Day and Blossom Day events.
Kenworthy Community Woodland, Trafford . A Community Orchard planted with fruit and nut trees as part of the Kenworthy woodland, one of four community woods created to celebrate the Co-operative Bank’s 125th anniversary in 1997. The woodlands are administered by a joint committee of councillors from Manchester City, and Trafford Borough Councils, and the Environment Agency, and the Committee guides the work of the Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service. Contact: Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service, Chorlton Water Park, Maitland Avenue, Chorlton, Manchester M21 7WH, +44(0)161 881 5639, email: wardenservice [at] merseyvalley.org.uk.
Macclesfield Canal Orchard, Bosley. Since 1996, members of the Macclesfield Canal Society have taken up the challenge of clearing and caring for an old damson orchard attached to a lock-keepers cottage on the canal towpath at Bosley. The Canal Society is hoping to add some apple and cherry trees to the orchard. The fruit will be available to local wild life and passengers on passing canal boats.
Marbury Orchard, Marbury Country Park, Northwich (on the west side, south of the Marbury Nursery, between the Nursery and Anderton/Comberbach Road). A two hectare orchard planted in 1994/5 within Marbury Country Park by Cheshire County Council Park Rangers with help from the Cheshire Landscape Trust. The orchard has apples, pears, plums, damsons and walnuts, and Cheshire varieties and those traditionally grown in Cheshire were chosen including the Cheshire Damson. There is access at all times. Fruit is left for visitors and volunteers to collect. Contact: Peter Schofield, Marbury Country Park, Comberbach, Northwich CW9 6AT, +44(0)1606 77741, marbury[at]cheshire.gov.uk, or see www.northwichcommunitywoodlands.org.uk
Norton Priory Museum Trust, Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SX. Has a pear orchard, mixed orchard and the national quince collection. Runs Apple Day and Blossom Day activities each year, 2002 also saw their first Quince Day. See the Trust web-site for more information. Tel: +44(0)1928 569895.
Old Pale Farm Community Woodland, Delamere Forest, Linmere, Northwich, Cheshire - a Forestry Commission / Mersey Forest site, nine varieties of apple tree were planted as an orchard to launch National Tree Week 2001. Tel: +44(0)1606 882167 (Forest Enterprise Offices).
Oughtrington Community Orchard, behind Oughtrington Community Centre, Oughtrington Crescent, Lymm (Junction 7 on the M56, A56 towards Lymm, follow road 3-4 miles, pass Jolly Thresher, turn right into Oughtrington Lane, signposted Lymm Leisure Centre, orchard on right just after humpback bridge). This orchard is attached to the rectory and is thought to be around 100 years old, once part of the primary school that has since become the community centre. The orchard is church property and the Diocese of Chester has agreed to rent it to the community for a peppercorn rent as Glebe Land. The twelve trees including four unknown pears, six unknown apples a James Grieve and Winston apple. Local varieties are to be planted in successive winters. Oughtrington Community Orchard Group have been restoring the orchard, with help from Cheshire Landscape Trust and Tony Gentil of TLG Orchards. The trees were given a prune in 2006 following a Cheshire Landscape Trust course. Log pile are being created and nettle patches left. Contact: Jo Yelten, 12 Oughtrington Lane, Lymm, Cheshire WA13 0RD, +44(0)1925 758756, orchard[at]oughtrington.co.uk or see www.oughtrington.co.uk
Reddish Vale Community Garden, Reddish Vale Country Park, Reddish Vale Road, Stockport. An orchard of 19th century varieties planted as part of a community garden, set within Reddish Vale Country Park. There is also a butterfly conservation area, and demonstration areas growing fruit and vegetables, a wild life garden, pond, green roof and solar a panels. The garden is part of a healthy living initiative, encouraging people to grow their own food. Access from the park’s Visitor Centre. Contact: Helen Dodd/ Andrew Stewart, Reddish Vale Country Park +44(0)161 4802686 or 07800 617616.
St. Paul of the Cross RC Primary School, Burtonwood, Warrington. A small orchard was planted in the school ground in March 1998 with help from Cheshire Landscape Trust, Burtonwood Parish Council and Burtonwood Tree Wardens. Contact: St Paul of the Cross RC Primary School, Milnthorpe Rd, Burtonwood, Warrington, WA5 4PN, +44(0)1925 224686.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WAI6 6QN. Has a walled garden and recently renovated kitchen garden containing an apple orchard. See the web-site. Tel: +44(0)1625 534400.
Trafford Drive/Beechfield Allotments Community Orchard, Timperley, Altrincham (1.5 miles NE of Altrincham. From the A56 Altrincham to Manchester road, turn right into Park Road (B5165), after a mile turn left into Heyes Lane, then fourth right into Langham Grove. Car park on left leading to playing fields, walk down cinder path, orchard on left). An orchard planted in 2002 on unused allotments by plot holders at Trafford Drive/Beechfield Allotments, Timperley, owned by Trafford Borough Council. There are fifty trees, mainly half standards, with some smaller trees among them. Cheshire varieties have been chosen for fourteen of the trees including Arthur Barnes, Lord Clyde, Lord Derby, Burr Knot, Withington Welter, Sure Crop, Bee Bench, Eccleston Pippin, Minshull Crab and Rakemaker. The rest are varieties dating from the seventeenth century to the present day. Some unused areas are left wild, and wildflowers and been planted in the orchard. There are some high hedges, mainly hawthorn, that attract wild life. The fruit is used to make preserves for Apple Day, and the rest is shared among plot holders. There is also an annual Blossom Day, open days and school visits, but on other days access is limited to plotholders. Contact: Mary Eastwood, 35 Hayes Lane, Timperley, Altrincham WA15 6EF, +44(0)161 969 9931.
Cheshire Landscape Trust has also assisted in the creation of the following Community Orchards:
Millennium Green, Henbury, Macclesfield. Nine apple trees and five damsons planted in 1999.
Bollington Parish Council. Nine apple trees planted alongside the River Bollin in 1999.
Bollington Allotments Association. Nine apple trees planted on allotment land in 1999.
St John’s CP School, Bollington, Macclesfield. Nine apple trees planted in the school grounds in 1999.
Elton CP School, nr Chester. Two apple trees planted in 1999.
Huxley CP School, nr Chester. Fourteen apple trees planted in 1999.
Kettleshulme W I. Six apple trees planted in 1999.
Trafford Hall (National Tennants Association) nr Chester. Nine apple trees planted in 1999.
Mersey Valley Partnership. Nine apple trees were planted at two schools in the Runcorn area in 1999.
Samuel Adams Orchard, Altrincham. Nine apple trees planted in 1999.
Kelsall Community Orchard, Waste Lane, Kelsall. Forty eight trees including apple, pear and damson were planted in 2000. There are currently access issues.
Upton Hall School, Wirral. Fifteen apple trees were planted at the school in 2000.
Orchard Close Linear Orchard, Frodsham. Fourteen apple trees, two in each of 7 gardens were planted in 2001.
Sound County Primary School. Thirty apple trees were planted at the school in 2001.
Highfields Community Primary School. Twenty four apple trees were planted at the school in 2001.
Other schools and community groups in Chester have been involved in the planting apple trees in schools and parks around the town.
Contact Cheshire Landscape Trust on +44(0)1244 376333
Where to buy apples and orchard produce
Haworth's of Eddisbury Fruit Farm, Yeld Lane, Kelsall, Cheshire CW6 OTE. PYO apples, pears, damsons and plums; make own Cheshire Apple Juice including single variety, and Cheshire Cider. Tel: +44(0)1829 751188 or 759157 or look at their web-site.
Willington Fruit Farm, Hillside Farm, Chapel Lane, Willington, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 OPH. 15 varieties of apple from September to January, plus home pressed juice. Tel: +44(0)1829 751216 or see their www.willingtonfruitfarm.co.uk
For details of Farmers' Markets in Cheshire see the Farmers' Market
Dishes to look out for...
Cheshire Fidget Pie (apples, onion and bacon pie) and Cheshire Crusty Apple Pie with Cheese.
Get a copy of the Cheshire Fine Food Trail, +44(0)1257 226206.
Where to buy fruit trees
TLG Orchards, Briarfields, Whitchurch Road, Aston, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8DJ. Hundreds of varieties, and very knowledgeable. Tel: +44(0)1270 780828
Cheshire damsons are available from F.Morrey & Son, Forest Nursery, near Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 0SN, +44(0)1829 751342 or see www.morreys-nursery.com