In 2012 there was certainly a lot happening in the village with the highlight being the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Parish Council commemorated this historic event by the creation of a community orchard on the old bottle tip. Having earlier cleared the land of overgrown bushes and trees a small group of volunteers turned out on Saturday 22nd September 2012 to help plant the Jubilee Orchard at the top of Beacon Road.
The Burton Mail reported (31 March 2015) that the Jubilee Orchard played host to a number of green-fingered guests at the weekend. Marc Richmond, of RHS Wisley, led a workshop on pruning fruit trees at the small site, which also offered a chance to spruce up the orchard. The space has fallen into disrepair since it was set up in 2012 to mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Rolleston Parish Council, which is in charge of the site, has been making efforts to improve the space for some time, and members said recently they hoped this event would encourage others to get involved at the site.
Pictured Marc Richmond, of RHS Wisley, teaching Jason Wyatt, Stephen Sanderson, Mike Robson, Janet Sanderson, Rosemary Baker and Maggie Gawthorpe.
At the village gala held on Monday 31 August the apples from the orchard won a 1st prize!
November 2015 Update
A meeting was held on 19 November where a plan was agreed amongst other things, weather permitting, to dig and clear an area around each tree and to clear a strip along the metal fence to plant raspberries - and meet again in early March 2016 - and then have a volunteers work day at the orchard, to complete work not been done by individuals as and when possible. Notes of this meeting can be read here.
Jubilee Orchard Update - January 2016
The suppliers who provided the original trees for the orchard have confirmed doubts about the labelling on the apple and plum trees. Barry Edwards followed this up and thanks to his efforts, we have had delivered 8x Bramley apple trees and 8x Victoria plum trees. (See map below of the orchard showing the correct species and a suggestion for the changes to integrate the new trees).
This involves removing 10 trees that hopefully will be planted somewhere else in the village, rather than destroy them. These are:
6x Purple Pershore Plum
1x Sunburst Cherry
1x Conference Pear
1x Braeburn apple
1x Cox’s orange pippin apple
1x Bramley apple (from the new delivery)
2x Victoria Plum (from the new delivery)
The Purple Pershore Plum trees are alot larger than the rest.
We need your advice on where they can be replanted. Does anyone have any suggestions? We need to do this before vigorous growth starts in Spring. We will need a load of top soil to fill holes and this can also be used, as we agreed, to improve nutrition around each of the existing trees. As a result of our last summary going on Facebook, we have been given 7 bird/bat boxes, a variety of seeds and a composter. Thanks to everyone involved.
Orchard Workday - Saturday 27th February, 10am
Update February 2016 (by Mike Robson) - When we met in November we agreed to fix a work day in the Spring and also to have another meeting. I am suggesting a workday sooner rather than later and wonder if Sat 27th Feb. is possible for some or most of you. I would suggest a 10am start, but anyone could visit, stay a few hours, or whatever through the day. I would also suggest we postpone in advance if we establish that the weather forecast is hostile. I don't think we need a meeting before the workday, in fact it will be better to review afterwards what got done and what still needs to be done.
To update you, the selected 10 trees have been removed and replanted in the Jinnie Trail (thanks John-a job well done!). I have planted the 6 new victoria plums and hope to do the seven bramley apples later this week. That leaves 2 victoria plums and 1 bramley to join the others in the Jinnie Trail, probably next week. There is a trailer of top soil at the orchard, primarily for filling holes and for replanting the new trees. The next task is the clear a bed along the metal fence in order to establish raspberries. We will send out messages for the donation of any plants, when the bed is established. We also agreed to create beds between the trees to plant gooseberries, black currants, herbs, etc. So we could make a start with say two of these beds per row of trees. I have marked these areas in red on the new map (below).
So help is needed to clear grass/weeds from selected areas, dig and add some new top soil to new beds and to an area around each tree. We need to use or stack up all of the top soil so the trailer can go. Tools needed will be spade/fork, wheel barrow/bucket, gloves. Also if anyone can get a ladder to the orchard we have 5 bat/bird boxes to put up in the trees. I am pleased to see a better mix of species starting to appear, such as the arum (lords and ladies), but we still need to cut down docks and nettles as soon as they appear. If anyone has a petrol strimmer it would be good to clear the bank and consider what we could encourage to grow there. Do please feed back any other ideas and of course feel free to go to the orchard any other day that suits you, and continue with the projects detailed above. Do also please forward details to anyone else you think may be interested in helping.
Spring in the Orchard - 3 March 2016 Newsletter (Mike Robson)
I happy to say that we have attracted some new volunteers, so I thought I would send out a newsletter.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org To clarify this is my (work) email address which is on my phone.
Jobs1. After the fantastic achievements on our work day, I am hoping the trees will now more or less look after themselves.
Jobs2. I have had a couple of offers of raspberry and gooseberry plants from the facebook message, but we need more, so that is our first priority.
Jobs3. When we get them, then please feel free to go to the Orchard in your own time and plant the raspberries close to the metal fence so we can secure and train them up the fence as they grow. We created the bed with new soil on the workday. The plan then is to join up the cleared areas around some trees to created beds, where we can plant other soft fruit bushes, herbs or even veg if we fancy it. You will see on the 'March 2016' map attached that I have shown the potential beds, and numbered the first ones 1-8.
Jobs4. Help to set back / destroy less desirable plants such as dock and nettles. See the attached photo from Oct14 when these larger 'weeds' were in danger of taking over.
If you have wild flower seeds or bulbs please plant / spread these as appropriate on the 'paths' between the 'beds' and on the bank. If / when the grass and other plants grow too much we can ask for professional help with a cut or strim.
Jobs5. We also need to encourage the hedge to fill out. So if we can try to prevent the base being choked by too many 'weeds' and if we get the opportunity to get any holly or hawthorn plants we might be able to add them in some of the gaps. I also attach a photo of how the Orchard is looking this week.
Update: Tom and Sandy have responded to advise me that we need to identify and separate summer and autumn raspberries. I suggest we plant summer raspberries in the right hand (eastern) part of the bed and autumn ones in the left (western). I have amended the map accordingly and attached a new one:
Jubilee Orchard Newsletter (Mike Robson) - January 2017
Jubilee Orchard – 2016 summary and 2017 plans
I hope many of you visited and enjoyed our Jubilee Orchard last year.
All the new trees we planted have survived and seem to be doing well.
The trees we moved to the Jinnie Trail also seem to have survived the trauma.
The daffodil bulbs flowered in the spring. I am aware some of you have planted more bulbs, such as snowdrops, which we should see this spring.
The membrane and mulch around each tree is working and has inhibited weed growth.
The sweet peas and raspberries along the fence mostly survived, the sweet peas flowered for months although the raspberries struggled.
The rhubarbs have all developed and should be established enough to crop this year.
The gooseberry, jostaberry, red currant and black currant bushes all survived and we had a crop of gooseberries -well enough for one fool (pun intended!). I suggest we plant more soft fruit bushes this year.
The mint, chives, parsley and rosemary have also grown well. I suggest we develop the herb garden idea in more beds this year.
Several of the bird boxes were inhabited by great tits but two were raided by a squirrel or magpie. We need to replace these this year with bird boxes with metal hole protectors.
There was a reasonable crop of pears and apples on most of these trees
A few cherries appeared, but then disappeared very quickly. I ate two; the birds had the rest I think.
The remaining Pershore Plum trees showed no fruit and look a bit sorry for themselves.
The donated hawthorn whips were planted in the gaps in the hedge, and the hedge seems to be filling out slowly. PC contractor John Deacon, as well as helping on work days, gives the hedge an annual trim.
The grass cutting has been moved to the PC contractor Phil Gould, who has done several cuts, and this seems to be inhibiting the curse of the nettles and docks.
Targets for 2017 - Can you help?
Maps (latest Jan 2017) is below - and further information can be found here [in the ‘(other local) Amenities’ section of the village website].
Jubilee Orchard Update - January 2018
This is an updated map for our Jubilee Orchard. Below are some resouces/further info (pdfs) which can be used by visitors to the Orchard:
If you can offer help in the Orchard by weeding, pruning and general maintenance, or, by donating plants such as herbs and soft fruit bushes, or, by giving a bird box or feeder, then please contact Mike Robson on 01283 480599.
Rollestonian Article - Spring 2018
2017 was a year of many developments in our Orchard.
We had a good crop of apples and pears, a few cherries, but the plum trees were new replacements, for those we moved to the Jinnie trail, so they may crop better in 2018. We were delighted to win some prizes again for our fruit at the Gala in August.
We have created four beds at the north of the orchard.
These now have well established herbs including mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, fennel, angelica, sorrel, garlic, marjoram and oregano.
There are also fruit bushes including gooseberry, raspberry (along the fence), blackberry and jostaberry. Also redcurrant and blackcurrant.
We also have two rhubarb plants
With the help of RODSEC members, we created two new beds, where we planted poppy seeds. We hope to reseed these beds and perhaps create two more, for red flowers in order to supply some of the flowers needed for the 2018 commemorations.
One of the bat boxes was blown down and two of the bird boxes were attacked, we think by squirrels.
We have created new maps and quizzes which can be used by visitors to the Orchard. The cubs visited on two occasions and trialled the quiz for the first time. We hope this may become an annual (atleast) event.
Over the winter we will tidy and weed the beds ready for spring and prune the trees.
We will also update the maps and other resources.
These are available on the village website and from the Parish Council,
Can you help?
Volunteers are always welcome, contact Mike Robson or other PC members for details.
For 2018 we could especially welcome donations of
2 more bird boxes (with metal hole protector)
Herbs (seeds or plantlets)
Soft fruit bushes, such as redcurrant, blackcurrant and gooseberry.
Seeds of red flowers
Donations can be sent to Mike Robson at 45 The Lawns (01283 480599)
Rollestonian Article - Summer 2018
Helping with our Jubilee Orchard
We are setting up a 'WhatsApp' group for the people who would like to help with our Jubilee Orchard.
We are not expecting a large or regular commitment, but you may be able to do some weeding or digging, or perhaps you could offer some spare seeds, bulbs, herbs, fruit bush cuttings, etc. that you think would add to our Orchard.
The idea is that if someone has something to offer they would post a message.
If someone is planning a visit to the Orchard to do a job, they would post a message. Others may then like to join them, or just say hello.
When someone has done a job, such as planting seeds, they would post a message, so others don't accidently undo or damage what they have achieved.
I will send the map and species list to all members so we can communicate using the areas stated on the map, e.g., the mint in 'Bed G' needs to be cut back, please take some.
If you would like join the group please text Mike Robson on 07929833893 and I will add your mobile phone number to the group.
I realise some people who help with our Orchard do not have, or want to use, 'WhatsApp'. Please feel free to continue to offer your support, or share information, via my email or landline.
45, The Lawns
If you would like to help with the Orchard as a volunteer to help with maintenance and implementing developments on agreed dates and/or a member of a small group that meets to decide and plan the way forward, please contact:
45 The Lawns, Tel: 480599
Last updated: 20 May 2018