Community Orchard

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.

Please contact Simon Wise at for more details or offers to help, or to be added to the mailing list for co-ordination / reminders etc.

Update From Recent Working Parties

The Community Orchard continues to be used by many community groups, Wise Owls, Lacock School, the Photography Group, Mother and Toddler for picnics and easter egg hunts, but it’s just a quiet haven that anyone can use at any time.

In the last year or so a number of additional “features” have been added, Bat Boxes (currently only occupied by spiders), Dormouse Houses, Slowworm Habitats, Bug Hotels and many bird boxes. The bird boxes were designed to accommodate small birds / finches, but many have been adapted to suit their current residents, one now has the most enormous hole to the front which we think has been taken over by a squirrel? If anyone is able to confirm this please let me know. There is a raised planter at the top of the slope, which I note has recently been planted with strawberries. All the creatures from the Gruffalo Story can be found hiding somewhere in the woodland section, and in the centre of the log circle there is now a central “log table” with the top surface cut to allow Noughts and Crosses to be played (counters are in the boxes around the edge of the table, but be careful when you put your hand in, one of them has been taken over as a “Slug Hotel”).

There are currently two bench seats, one in the shade and one in the sunshine! (and the remains of a previous old one to be taken away soon)

We try and keep the paths cut regularly to make access easier, and this time of year we are allowing the central section to grow unchecked in the hope that the wildflowers sown last year will eventually put in an appearance. Under the large Cherry tree there are once again signs of Orchids. The fruit trees are all labelled to show when they might produce fruit, please help yourself to anything that is in season.

At this time of year with everything growing so quickly, it is looking wild and unkempt, hopefully to be back under control in the near future.

Orchard Mouse
One of our Community Orchard users

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.

I you have any questions or suggestion about the Orchard, or would like to become involved in helping with its care, please contact