Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Planting of Jubilee Orchard commences at Coton Countryside Reserve

Last updated 12 March 2012 eve

On Friday 9 March 2012, Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CambridgePPF) has begun the planting a new orchard at its Coton Countryside Reserve, marking the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. 

At a special invitation only event at the 120 hectare site to the west of the city, the charity will be joined by representatives from South Cambridgeshire District Council; Cambridge City Council; and the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Awards for All’ – organisations that have helped get this important environmental project off the ground. 
Pupils from Coton Primary School have also taken part, learning how to plant trees and discovering interesting facts about traditional English orchard fruits:
Pupils from Coton Primary School are planting under the watchful eye of the CambridgePPF Ranger Team

Right above - Cllr Manning and Ecology Officer Rob 
Mungovan (SCDC) planting a Cambridge Gage
Below - Planting of Walnut Trees - spring 2011.

On Sunday 11 March 2012, a community planting day took place during warm spring weather.

Volunteer Planting on Sunday 11 March 12 -
are essential to ensure good tree growth

Over the course of the two planting days, almost 100 trees will be established at three sites within the Coton Countryside Reserve. The prime orchard – named the Jubilee Orchard – will be close to the site’s visitor car park and Bin Brook. Representing a traditional orchard it will contain a mix of trees that bear fruit and nuts. Walnuts, Bramley apples and tall pears will be planted in tiers towards the south west of the site, with a wide variety of traditional and new apple varieties as well as crab apples. All the trees chosen will flower and fruit at different times, creating an extended growing season that stretches from spring into autumn and is pleasant to look at as well as valuable for local wildlife.

The western edge of the orchard will be planted with a fruit and nut rich hedge. Arranged to resemble a conventional countryside hedge, but with a much higher nutritional value, this natural border will enable foraging by humans and wildlife alike. A central glade will capture sunlight and be edged by ox-eye daisies and a wildlife flower mix, creating interest during the summer time. Other fruit trees will be planted in a more linear format, adjacent to grass tracks.

Carolin Göhler, CEO of CambridgePPF, said: “The latest planting scheme at Coton will help recreate the mosaic of orchards that once existed in countryside to the west of Cambridge. Nationally, well over 60% of orchards have been lost since the 1950s, and in Cambridgeshire, the percentage is even higher. Fruit trees – particularly old ones – aid biodiversity and create important habitats that support an array of insects, birds and mammals. Reinstating an orchard at Coton is an investment in the future well-being of local residents, who will now be assured of another countryside space to roam and explore, right on their doorstep. We’d like to thank everyone that has supported this project - our sponsors, CambridgePPF's Ranger Team as well as all the enthusiastic volunteers.”
Back - Cllr David Bard (Vice-Chair SCDC), Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith (Mayor of Cambridge), 
Cllr Ray Manning (Leader of SCDC)
Front - Sara Betsworth (Head of Region - The Big Lottery) and Carolin Göhler (CEO - CambridgePPF)

We are grateful for funding received from:

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