The 'Thundridge Community Orchard' known as 'Jean's Orchard' is an orchard project left in trust to the community by local resident Jean Hobbs who sadly passed away in November 2016. The orchard idea was launched in June 2017 by Jean's family after testing the idea with the community and found that it would be a viable and worthwhile exercise. Read more on the about page.
See the calendar for visiting times and the diary for progress reports, photos and videos.
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Work began in July by volunteers to clear the orchard of shoulder-high nettles, overlong grass, bramble, ivy, nettles, ant nests, mole hills and fallen branches. Some old fruit trees were overgrown and almost overwhelmed by ivy, these took quite a lot of work as the main ivy stems were very thick. Once the bulk of the green rubbish was cleared we had a better idea of what we had in terms of what we had and what was needed to do improve/enhance the orchard. We found a small selection of well established fruit trees (Apple, Cherry, Pear, Plum, Damson and a huge Cob/Hazel) and a couple of Birch trees and a Yew. There is a good selection of shrubs and perennials in a circular border near the summerhouse (needed a bit of TLC). Also a couple of clematis growing on side of garage and trellis by the garage.
We were very proud to win the 'CPRE Rural Living' award presented 13th October 2018.
The CPRE said: "Thundridge Community Orchard, The Ermine Street site was put in trust by Jean Hobbs who passed away in 2017. Her wish to create an orchard at the end of her garden was fulfilled by Trustees and a team of dedicated volunteers. They have cleared the near derelict site, trimmed existing fruit trees and planted heritage varieties, many of them pledged by donors. The approximately 100 yard square orchard has wild flowers and jams are produced from the fruit and sold. An education and conservation programme for young people is underway. Work continues to log the numerous species, providing insect habitats and bird nesting boxes. Jean’s orchard has brought together people who might otherwise never have met in the same village. The orchard is currently open to visitors on certain days but access will be increased".
Homemade orchard plum jam for sale from the orchard shop, Jar weight 230grams (8oz), cost £2.50. Come to our last working Saturday morning in December to purchase, see calendar.
An ideal Christmas present!
March - October
Tuesday, Wednesday and first Saturday of the month: 10.00 -18.00
All other Saturdays: 10.00 - 14.00
November - February
Tuesday and Wednesday: 9.00 - 16.00
Saturdays: 10.00 - 14.00
Orchard volunteers first working day after the winter break.
One small step for Jean's orchard, one giant leap for the local community