We will be holding a Blossom Day celebration in the orchard on Sunday 30 April 2023, between 2pm and 4pm. As well as an opportunity to enjoy the blossom, there will be guided tours around the orchard, introducing visitors to the swift tower, the beehive and the stool bed where we are propagating rootstocks. Bring a picnic and enjoy the orchard with us.
Orchard Blossom Day was an event launched a couple of years ago by the UK Orchard Network, but of course fruit tree blossom has been celebrated for centuries, and by some very famous artists including those shown below – Millais, Van Gogh and David Hockney. Why not take some photos or bring your sketchbook (digital or paper) and make the most of this fleeting beauty? We would love to share your images of the orchard here.
Bugs and Swifts for the Heritage Open Days Sunday 18 September 2022 14:00 – 16:00
Take a tour around our small plant-filled oasis designed to enhance the community and promote biodiversity and educate people about fruit production, wildflower meadows and conservation.
Innovation is not just technology, but the integration of sustainable food production with biodiversity and conservation is an innovative approach to a new way of living to minimize consumerism and maximize a positive environmental impact.
The visit will highlight how the community orchard and wildflower meadow contribute to biodiversity, illustrated by the bugs found. In addition the swift tower and observational beehive illustrate the possible contribution to conservation as both swifts and bees have been in decline (sadly this year swifts have been added to the red list, emphasizing the urgent need for action).
Trumpington Community Orchard illustrates how nature needs to be the central consideration in all INNOVATIVE community planning.
No booking required, just turn up. Please park considerately in this residential area. The event is free but we rely on donations to keep the orchard going.
We took the hard decision not to hold a wassail (a traditional ceremony to honour the apple trees) this year. I know other orchards held large and enthusiastic wassails, but our space is small and we have to think about the potential risks.
But never fear, our Maintenance Session volunteers saw to it that the trees received their usual blessing of a libation of apple juice poured at their roots, and pieces of toast hung in the branches. When we started this orchard over a decade ago, our first wassail was three of the founders (including me) singing some kind of song and banging a saucepan, and a few neighbours came out to see what the racket was. Since then the wassail grew into a really sizeable and popular event, and we have had everything from lantern processions to a wheelbarrow orchestra to folk dressed as Green Men and Women, and as penguins. In the last few years wassailing has been re-discovered, re-invented and revived across the country (I think we were way ahead of the trend.) Wassailing is certainly a tradition of this orchard, and it will carry on, in some way or another, every year.
Our Open Cambridge event on Saturday 11 September was a great success. Susanna, who is one of our founder members, said, ‘Saturday went really well with sunshine and lots of happy families joining us at the orchard for the bug hunt and plant potting. Tristan did a stoic job leading the bug hunt and showing people how to use a key to help identify the ” beasties”. There were magnificent spiders , grass hoppers and a couple of fat crickets and every one had a fantastic time. Rosa was in charge of greeting our guests and selling apple juice as well as collecting donations. I led the potting up session with a selection of strawberries, sage and rosemary that I’d set up a few weeks ago from runners or cuttings from my allotment. Everyone took at least one plant home with instructions of how to care for them. One enterprising child found a rosemary beetle and then potted up some rosemary to take home so that she could keep the beetle as a pet ( with parental consent of course!) Chris has been busy again making a shelter at the entrance to the orchard (prompted by us getting soaked on Friday evening when we went down to set up the notice board). He has also painted the sign on the gate and re-varnished the wood so our kissing gate looks beautiful. Dave has not had a chance to put bees into the observation hive this year but a colony has moved in anyway.’
On Saturday 11th September 2021 from 2 – 4pm in the orchard, we will be searching for as many bugs and minibeasts as we can find. All creatures, once examined and recorded, will be carefully returned to where we found them.
Come along and see what you can find. No experience necessary, and no knowledge of bugs required.
Last time we did this, we found a lot of bugs!
This event is part of Open Cambridge It is a free event, but donations to keep our orchard going are much appreciated.
Trumpington Community Orchard cannot keep going without volunteer help and support, and we are so pleased that the Tzu Chi Cambridge Collegiate Society enjoyed their volunteering sessions with us, and are looking forward to more. The group have sent us these lovely photos, and one of the Society’s members, Yin, shared her thoughts:
“Contributing to environmental awareness is one of our objectives in forming the Tzu Chi Cambridge Collegiate Society. We are thrilled to start with volunteering in local community gardens. This week, we received a warm welcome from the Trumpington Community Orchard. It was blessed to have a sunny Sunday to put our hands in the soil. We happily meet new friends Susanna and Chris, our lovely local eco-warriors and knowledgeable green lovers. More than volunteering, we learned so much in the Orchard. It was our first time to know such varieties of Cambridgeshire heritage apples. The efforts that the Orchard team put in biodiversity and planting were much appreciated. Susanna also showed us how to recognize commonly seen plants in Cambridge, such as the cute yellow Buttercup, salad burnet, little white Yarrow, and Wood Anemone. It is interesting to see the small bird shed built for the swifts though now it is rented to the sparrows. By the place near Hobson Brook, we also learn about the Brook and Cambridge history. It is amusing to see so many fun things and activities happening in the Trumpington Community Orchard. We were surprised how vivid and lively the Orchard garden is after our volunteering session. We had a lovely time with Susanna getting ourselves close to nature and becoming more aware of our surroundings. We experienced a growth of a healthy mind to respect our environment and shared it with local nature lovers. We hope more friends will join us in the future. Step by step, we will adopt and share an environmentally friendly lifestyle as a community.”
‘The Tzu Chi Cambridge Collegiate Society is an active student society of Cambridge University. The Society is associated with the Tzu Chi Foundation, an international NGO and accredited observer of the United Nations Environment Programme. We share enthusiasm in nature awareness and in learning by doing through local community engagement. We believe that actions, however small, can make a difference and would like to create opportunities for like-minded fellows.’
We are celebrating our 10th Birthday on Thursday 30th August 2018
All are welcome to come along and listen to a story or two about apples, orchards and the amazing creatures that live in them
Afternoon Tea party for children and their carers, starting 2.30pm with cake and apple juice with storytelling starting at 3.30pm for about an hour. Our storyteller is Marion Leeper. Evening
Storytelling for grown ups will bring us all together at 6.30pm with Malcolm Busby with Marion Leeper joining in later. Bring a picnic and a blanket and settle in for a traditional, but contemporary experience.
More details will follow on, keep an eye on our Facebook event page too.
Don’t worry about our trees, I don’t mean the toothy, dam building type of beaver. Our orchard visitors were the 1st Trumpington Beaver Scouts (aged 6 – 8) , who came to the Orchard a few weeks ago and made a splendid job of a litter pick.
Just last Sunday (13.5.18) the 1st Trumpington Cub Scouts (aged 8 – 11) joined our regular volunteering session and spent most of their time removing brambles – a very prickly task!
We are really grateful for the enthusiasm, effort and help from these young people and their Leaders. We cannot keep the orchard looking good without the work of volunteers, and we hope that in return they learned a little about the orchard and its plants and insect life.
We welcome other group visits, we’ve hosted the Brownies and local schools as well, so do get in touch if you’d like to play a part in your local orchard’s growth.
OK I admit Spring is rather late this year. But the Orchard survived the ‘Beast from the East’ snow, and here and there blossom is cautiously unfurling. This website needs a bit of a spring clean, not least because of new data protection regulations that are coming into force in May 2018. This means that every organisation, no matter how small, has to ask its supporters to actively ‘opt in’ to receive emails and other contacts. So look out from an email for us soon, and please do take the time to stay in touch because we can’t keep the Orchard going without your help and interest.
Our Monthly Maintenance Mornings (Second Sunday and last Thursday of the month) have been off to a good start and so far we are scything the grass and getting rid of any bramble seedlings that have poked up through the ground. All are welcome to come to these – have a look at our Events page for all the dates and see the sign on the Orchard gate.
21 October is National Apple Day, and it’s the time of year when we take our expertise about apples out and about. With our friends from the East of England Apples and Orchards Project, we will be at Apple Day events across the region, helping to identify apples that are brought in, and spreading the word about the amazing varieties you can grow at home. Here’s a list of all the Apple Days where apple identification is on offer, but there are more events happening so do pop along to your local event.
And, because it’s ‘peak apple’ in October, I am out and about talking at many local Garden Clubs, all of which are happy to welcome visitors if you fancy coming along and learning more about the amazing history of apples and how to look after your trees:
21 September- Scotsdales, Great Shelford – fruit in modern gardens (not just apples!)
10 October – Shelford Gardening Club
11 October – Whittlesford Gardening Club
12 October – Girton Gardening Club
23 October – Wickhambrook Horticultural Society
27 October – Cottenham Garden Club