Many thanks to the magnificent team of Astra Zeneca employees who came down to the orchard and donated their own time and effort last week. They worked really hard, and the orchard looks amazing as a result. They weeded and mulched the circles around the trees, repaired the herb garden and waged war on the brambles. Astra Zeneca also donated some funds for the mulch and some other supplies, and we are very grateful for this help.
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.
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.
In the olden days, rural folk and villagers across the apple-growing counties must have endured the short, cold days and long, cold nights of winter with gloom. What better way to drive that away than to create a ritual involving firelight, noise and cheery singing? And if there was cider involved so much the better. Wassailing, or giving thanks to the orchard, has a long and colourful history and we are happy to be part of its revival.
These days the wassail is less cider-centric, but even more fun. Our annual wassail will be led by Nigel Pennick and we will all follow, singing (or at least making a noise) as we go. Along the way we tie some toast dipped in apple juice in the branches of each tree. All this will protect the apple trees and encourage them to bear a bumper crop next year, so it’s essential arboriculture.
Turn up with a torch or a lantern, and enjoy some hot mulled apple juice. Wrap up warm and be prepared to sing. The event is free but donations to help the orchard and cover our costs are much appreciated. Children very welcome.
Please bear in mind there are no facilities on the orchard. Parking is on the adjacent streets – please park with consideration to our neighbours.
I love to have a relaxing Christmas, including sitting around watching terrible films, but there’s only so much of that I can enjoy before I begin to feel a bit like a Christmas pudding. If you get that feeling too come and join us on Monday 30 December 2019 for a Bramble Blitz and litter picking session. We will be starting at 10.30 am in the community orchard, and ending up with a free lunch of hearty soup and bread which will be served in the Clay Farm Community Garden building.
This event is supported with a grant from TKMaxx and Homesense.
Our orchard relies on voluteers, so we really do appreciate the efforts of everybody who turns up and helps out. In particular the Orchard team would like to say a big thank you to Anna who is volunteering for an hour every Tuesday between 8 am and 9 am. So far she has helped to rake up cuttings from the scythed meadow and dig out brambles and turns up whatever the weather with a willingness to help.
Be like Anna – Come along and see what you can do. You will leave feeling more warm and fuzzy than a Christmas jumper.
We hold a maintenance session every second Sunday of the month (11am – 1pm), and every fourth Thursday (10am – 12pm)
If you love our orchard, and want to help keep it special, please come along to one of our regular maintenance sessions. We provide all the tools you need, and lots of help and advice, so if you’ve never done any gardening before, don’t worry. It’s a great way to spend some time in the outside and meet new people
.These sessions are when we look after the trees and check what needs to be done. For each season we will check the health of the trees, attend to any pests and diseases, and make the orchard look as beautiful as possible. It’s vital work to keep the orchard going and we rely on our volunteers to look after these trees, so we really appreciate the help. You don’t have to stay for the whole session, just come along when you can. Superivised children are welcome but please note we have no toilet/hand washing etc facilities on site or nearby. Please wear clothes suitable for outdoor work.
DATES FOR 2019: Every second Sunday of the month (11am – 1pm), and every fourth Thursday (10am – 12pm)
Sunday 10 Feb
Thursday 28 Feb
Sunday 10 March
Thursday 28 March
Sunday 14 April
Thursday 25 April
Sunday 12 May
Thursday 23 May
Sunday 9 June
Thursday 27 June
Sunday 14 July
Thursday 25 July
Sunday 11 August
Thursday 22 August
Sunday 8 Sept
Thursday 26 Sept
Sunday 13 Oct
Thursday 24 Oct
Sunday 10 Nov
Thursday 28 Oct
Sunday 8 Dec
(Thursday 26 Dec – probably not going to happen!)
Sunday 13th January 2019 2pm
“Wassail wassail all over the town…”
So begins the traditional Wassail carol – celebrating Christmas, winter and the bountiful harvest to come. Our own orchard wassail is a bit of a tradition in its own right, having been going for a mighty ten years. This year we have story telling for everyone, a great way of setting the scene and leading us into the fun and mystery of singing to apple trees as darkness falls.
Come and see us. It’s free (although donations are much appreciated) and it’s suitable for all the family. Because we’ll be outside in an orchard, wear warm clothes, bring a torch. Dressing up is encouraged – it’s usually Holly Kings and Ivy Queens but we have had a 6ft tall penguin come along in the past, so anything goes!
All are welcome to come along and listen to a story or two about apples, orchards and the amazing creatures that live in them
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.
- 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.
On Saturday 9th June we hosted the AGM of the East of England Apples and Orchards Project. This organisation grows all the varieties of apples and other orchard fruit that originated in the East of England, and does a lot of research into their origins and how to grow them. It’s open for anyone interested in fruit to join, and it is really worthwhile.
After the business part of the meeting, it was our turn to give a short presentation on how this little orchard came into being. We could hardly believe it was first thought of over ten years ago! We used lots of photos to jog out memories – some of the photos you can find by exploring the links and early posts on this site. It wwas good to have the comments from so many other expert growers and owners of community orchards.
Many of those present joined us for a tour of the orchard itself. As you can see from these picures, the wildflower meadow around the trees was the star of the show. Everyone admired the swift tower, and looked to see the swifts themselves. Hopefully swift towers will be a feature of more community orchards, and the EEAOP site itself, in the future.