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15th Jan 05
Orchard renovation
Orchard before and afterAim: Renovate an old traditional orchard

The project’s aim was to renovate an old traditional orchard which would form a key element to the overall management of Tongham Community Wood. It was intended to provide a link to the past history of Tongham village, to transform the overgrown, neglected area into an amenity for the community attracting individuals and families to the wood, to add to the biodiversity of the area through attracting further wildlife and to prevent further fly tipping which had previously occurred on the site.

There are a variety of wildlife habitats within an orchard supporting a multitude of wildlife – mosses, lichens, insects, birds and mammals. Throughout the year trees are a source of food:

· Spring: blossom is a source of pollen for bees and moths, in turn attracting birds. Bullfinches seek buds for food
· Summer: nesting sites and food
· Autumn: the fallen fruits are a good food source for butterflies like Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell; windfalls are enjoyed by badgers, mice, voles, hedgehogs and birds.

How was the project carried out?
The project was overseen by Tony Anderson, Project Officer for the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership who provided guidance on planting, supplied tools and allowed use of their site for delivery of trees and planting materials. Contractors were brought in to clear and prepare the ground with wood chippings to be recycled within the wood for paths and mulching. Advertising was done through posters and newsletters for volunteers to plant trees.

50 fruit trees and planting materials were ordered and planting was carried out by volunteers mainly on 15th January and completed on 5th February. The tree varieties within the wood are:

Blenheim Orange
Ellison's Orange
James Grieve
Lord Lambourne
Newton Wonder
Rosemary Russet
Egremont Russet

Merton Glory

Louise Bonne of Jersey
Williams bon Chretien

Victoria Plum
Cambridge Greengage

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