Help needed to restore Ebley Linear Community Orchard
The Ebley Linear Community Orchard celebrated its 18th birthday on National Apple Day 2012. It was the first in Britain to be planted alongside a new cycle trail.
Seventy apple and pear trees were installed by Gloucestershire County Council along half a mile of the track which runs alongside the A419 Ebley-bypass between Stonehouse and Dudbridge. Many are rare Gloucestershire species with names such a Ashmeads Kernel, Gilliflower of Gloucester and Chaxhill Red.
However in recent years the county council has not had the funds to maintain the orchard. Many of the trees have now become over-crowded and are in desperate need of pruning to ensure their healthy survival.
After many years of complaints from local people about the state of the orchard, a local charity for which I work, has secured funds through The Big Lottery to restore the site.
the Stroud Community Land Trust will be carrying out the project next month as part of Stroud's bid to become Britain's first Apple Town.
We surveyed of the orchard last week and identified 55 of the apple and pear trees which can be saved. The charity is now seeking volunteers to help secure the linear orchard's future.
There are two ways you can help:
More detailed pruning courses are also available at Days Cottage see www.dayscottage.co.uk for details. All pictures courtesy Days Cottage.