About the Orchard
This is a community project. We plan to plant about 50 fruit trees and it's an important part of our principles to plant old Oxfordshire varieties wherever possible. And if an Oxfordshire variety is not available, to use to old Cotswold types. We aim to preserve traditional fruit trees and grow produce not available in the supermarkets.
The plot will include a small central seating area, for picnics, play and just enjoying the surroundings of a traditional English orchard.
Raising the MoneyPlanting an orchard of this size is an expensive business.
But we had a cunning plan!
We decided to ask our villagers to sponsor a tree for £35. Plus an extra £7,50 if they wanted a brass plaque to record their name, remember a special person or or a special event. We wanted every single tree to be sponsored by a villager, for our village community. Obviously this was a way of funding the orchard, but it is more than that. Milton Under Wychwood is a special place, it may not be the most beautiful or picturesque of the Cotswold's villages - but it has a fellowship, friendliness and goodwill that puts it in the premier league of great places to live. We hope our orchard is a symbol of that community.
But did it work?Yes - beyond our wildest dreams! We can plant twice a year, in the Spring and in the Autumn. Milton W1 very generously gave us a donation that enabled us to get started, and within a few short weeks every one of the 32 trees was sponsored. We planted on the very last day of March, just within the end of season deadline (more about that below). And just 4 weeks later all, of the 33 trees we have planned for the Autumn planting are already sponsored! We even have a waiting list of people who would still like to sponsor a tree if any more ever become available.
A tremendous tribute to the generosity and community spirit of all of our sponsors, especially our wonderful villagers.
Where is it?It is positioned adjacent to the allotments in Bruen Road (just opposite the junction with the Lynham Road) . The orchard is at the south of the plot next to the stream. You are welcome to visit at any time
Can I sponsor a tree?I'm afraid we have no more space to plant any more trees. So sadly we have had to close the sponsorship lists.
Anything else I can do?Well, yes. We are always looking for volunteers to help with the various maintenance tasks we have. We have a dedicated team of 12 people who water the trees and weed the small areas around them. We do this every week but as we work in teams of two, each team is only 'on duty' every six weeks. If you would like to help email us on: muw.orchard@gmail,com
Please tell your friends and family about the orchard project. And visit the orchard now and again to see how things are coming on. Remember, it is a community orchard.
Sponsorship will not cover all of our costs so if you (or they) would like to make a small donation or you would like to organise some fund raising, we would be very grateful for your support. You can donate right now, just click on this button:
The story so far
Sunday 31st April 2014 - A small group of twelve hardy volunteers met at the site of the orchard, to plant the first stage of the Milton Under Wychwood Community Orchard. We were all waiting for Andy (the nurseryman) to deliver our very first batch of fruit trees. And sure enough he arrived on time with a van packed with 32 trees. Before we started he gave us a short tutorial on how to plant, stake and cover the saplings that will one day be our orchard.
19/3/14 - The lay out is finally complete. All the tree positions have been marked out with small stakes, the trees have been ordered and are due for delivery in two week's time.
16/3/14 - David Trollope and Paul Young spent last Wednesday marking out the positions for the spring planting. We had a plan, so it was going to be a nice simple job. We should have known better! Neither of us are surveyors, and that became painfully obvious as the day wore on. But after a lot of head scratching and "let's just do that one again" moments, we have laid out the first 20 or so plots. We will complete the job next Wednesday.
The trees have been ordered from a specialist nurseryman who handles traditional varieties
The next task is prepare the plots. Each tree needs a piece of bare earth about 2 feet (60 cm) square. Quite a small area, but we have 34 to produce! So if you would like to volunteer to help we would be very happy to hear from you email email@example.com
21/2/14 - The Milton WI have very kindly donated half of their takings from their Spring Lunch to the Orchard. And at the lunch Paul Young gave a brief talk on the orchard and many of the 'lunchers' agreed to sponsor a tree there and then. Very many thanks to all concerned.
11/3/14 - Well, our 14 trees has now turned into 34 trees! So a very big THANK YOU to all those wonderful villagers who have responded so very generously. You can see the full list of sponsors in the side panel on this page. We have now got as many trees as we can handle for the spring planting. But we are still only about halfway to the final total. So we still need about 30 sponsors for the Autumn session.
1/3/14 - On Sunday a small but intrepid team marked out the boundaries of the Orchard. If you are walking by the allotments you can now see exactly where it will be. Our next step will be preparing the planting site for our first batch of 14 trees. If you would like to help, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
24/2/14 - Groves have kindly agreed to a 10% discount on stakes for the orchard. Thanks for the support, er, no pun intended.
15/2/14 - The site has been agreed with the Welfare Trust. We have completed all the tedious admin stuff (a bank account, various approvals etc etc). We have a plan for planting - for how many trees will fit on the site, which types we want, and where they will be planted. The next stage, planned for a week or so is to mark out the boundaries of the orchard with stakes and tape. Then we have to prepare the planting beds. Then order the saplings, stakes and protective sleeves, and finally . . plant the first batch of trees. Hopefully before the end of March deadline.