Lacock Community Orchard
Lacock Community Orchard is for the use of all the local residents and interest group that form part of our community. Lacock Parish Council has obtained this area of land on a long leasehold, with the intention of turning into a resource for local residents, either for private individual use, or for community groups wanting to use it for more structured, organised activities. It is a secluded spot, a perfect haven , with a bench for quiet contemplation.
The orchard, is a hidden gem, it can be found, by passing through the unmarked “sprung wicket gate” on the right hand side, 1/3 of the way up Nethercote Hill, follow the gravel path for approximately 40m, and you will see another, slightly more reputable gate on your left, this is the entrance to the orchard and woodland.
Over the last year groups of volunteers have been working hard to “reclaim” the land from its overgrown state. The main section of orchard used to be used as an allotment, and many of the previous plots are still obvious in the uneven ground levels. The existing fruit and ornamental trees are slowly being pruned to restore their shape and appearance and a planting programme has begun to add more fruit bearing varieties. The new species have been selected to complement the existing ones, and in time it is intended that there will always be at least one variety of fruit available for picking from July through to October. As a community orchard, this produce will be free for residents to pick (for their own private use). At the moment the only trees mature enough to produce fruit are two apple (New Orleans, and Ashmead’s Colonel – Russet), a cherry (Rainer) and a crab apple (used as a pollinator, but from which you can make a really nice crab apple jelly). In the northwest corner of the orchard is an area with a low protective fence where two species of Orchid can be seen.
Immediately adjacent to the orchard is a small section of woodland, which now contains a “stump circle” meeting area, 3 “bug hotels”, 2 bat boxes, there are 9 bird boxes scattered throughout the site, and numerous bird feeders (please feel free nuts / seeds to encourage more wildlife), and 3 dormouse boxes. It is hoped that these initiatives encourage greater wildlife use, and will prove great entertainment and a learning resource for the youth organisations which are starting to use the site.
On Going Work
Whilst the major, reclamation and replanting work is now largely complete, there is always something to do to keep the area looking nice, and a list of ongoing projects for which volunteers are needed. There is a regular working group, which meets on site, on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10am, to work on the larger projects, to socialise and to share ideas, anyone is very welcome to join us.
Requests for users of the Orchard and adjacent woodland
- Please enjoy the area, and respect other users.
- Please be careful of your footing, there are raised paths that are regularly mown, but in places the ground is uneven and there are trip hazards.
- If fruit is in season, please take what you wish, but for your personal use only.
- If you wish to forage for greenery (Christmas wreath making / decoration) please do so, but again for your personal use only, and try and be selective in any pruning to ensure that plants can continue to thrive.
- Please keep the gate bolted, school and toddler groups may be using the area, and we don’t want any small children escaping into the wild!
- Take any litter home with you, and If you spot a hazard or any cause for concern, please report it.
- If you have any suggestions for the further improvement to the site it would be great to hear your ideas.