It’s not something casual visitors to Nuns Moor Park always notice, but hidden in plain sight is a thriving community orchard.
Located in rough meadow in the north west end of the park, the orchard was planted through the efforts of volunteers, friends and local residents who worked tirelessly with Greening Wingrove & Arthur’s Hill to create the wildlife-friendly space.
Thanks largely to the drive of former board director, David Rochester, this is also a ‘heritage orchard’, with 35 varieties of apples you won’t see in supermarkets!
The orchard also boasts a variety of other trees and plants including, cherry, pear, quince, gage, medlar, mulberry and hazelnut, which might have been found more commonly in Victorian times when the park was first laid out as a public space for local residents.
The heritage fruits were chosen because they are not often found in the shops and help educate local residents about the variety of fruit available to us, especially if we grow our own.
It has helped develop a part of the park originally dedicated as a wild flower meadow and the addition of these trees to the site will help attract pollinators, at the same time helping with cross pollination the trees require in order to produce fruit.
It is expected that many of the trees planted will still be around in 100 years time, allowing future generations to enjoy the fruit of our labours.
The project was made possible with a grant from the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF), which supports actions having a positive impact on the environment and quality of life in communities. LEAF is a collaboration between the Community Foundation, Greggs Foundation, Shears Foundation and other private and corporate donors.
updated 20 January 2020