26 May 2019

The wildflowers are knee high

Just a few of the lovely wildflowers in the orchard today.

Bird's Foot Trefoil

Common Vetch

Red Campion

Red Campion

Ragged Robin

Bird's Foot Trefoil and Common Vetch

11 May 2019

Picnics in the orchard

We are pleased to announce a new addition to the orchard.  Two picnic tables and benches have been installed in the middle of the trees.  Hopefully, villagers will enjoy spending time in the orchard throughout the seasons. Thank you Paul and Ed for all your hard work.

24 April 2019

Orchard wildflowers

It is good to see that the wildflowers in the orchard are doing so well.  The daffodils looked lovely in the spring sunshine followed a few weeks later by cowslips.

2 April 2019

Hidden dens in the orchard

We found this great den in the big wooded hedge in the orchard in the winter. It must have taken ages to build and plenty of skill and tenacity. There seems to be more construction going on in the wild wood too.

19 January 2019

Pruning in the community orchard

We did really well pruning all the trees in the community orchard today; just two hours to learn and prune all 45.  The trees are really healthy and already have fruit buds showing.

3 January 2019

Wassail !

What a fantastic Wassail on Saturday 5 January; we were amazed as over 500 revellers joined in.  It can be said that now all the evil spirits in the orchards have been driven away with shotgun fire, the trees have been woken up from their winter slumbers by drumming, singing and dancing and the good spirits of the trees have been fed with cider and toast we can be sure that the harvest will be wonderful this year! 

We crowned a king and a queen at one of the orchards by giving special cake to the girls and boys and whoever found the hidden bean was royalty for the day. Their royal duties included placing mistletoe in the branches to attract the birds.

The procession set off from the Red Lion for the community orchard where the children were given hazel twigs to beat the trees to wake them up and buckets and sticks to beat and make lots of noise.

As ever the merry band of villagers and visitors was lead by the fabulous Armallegan Morris who danced and sang at each orchard and when it got dusk danced their spectacular fire dance at the last orchard.

The celebrations were topped off with a firework display, traditional lambswool and more music and dancing at the village hall.

photo: Fiona Wilson

photo: Karen Taylor

photo: Andrew Trythall

photo: Andrew Trythall

photo: Andrew Trythall

photo: Andrew Trythall

photo: Karen Taylor

23 September 2018

The best Apple Day yet

A sunny Apple Day with a stunning display

Over 400 visitors enjoyed the lovely autumn sunshine at this year's Apple Day at the Red Lion. The pub was packed for Sunday lunch, the garden was full with people tasting over 17 different heritage varieties of apples and pears, and the car park was where the apples were being pressed.

By far the best part of the day was former fruit farmer, Paul Chilton's, GIANT display of heritage varieties of apple presented in the traditional exhibition style. This year he excelled with 122 varieties; you will NEVER see these apples in a supermarket!

Some of varieties of apple for tasting included Ashmead's Kernel, Adam's Pearmain, Golden Pippin, Spartan, Wagner, Claygate Pearmain, Blenheim Orange, Red Delicious as well as Egremont Russet and St Cecilia; all of these are grown in the village gardens and orchards.

People could also taste the chutneys and decide which one to go with their cheese baguette or a pulled pork bap.

The Brightwell Supporting Refugees raised almost £300 on their stall selling an amazing choice of cakes, pastries and biscuits.

The apple press was running from 12.00 until 3.00 and we made over 120 litres of juice.  Some brought their own apples and bottles which was very satisfying to see, after all, using the fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste was the very reason this village bought the press in 2009..

This was a great family day out with the kids really enjoying the apple activities.  Many of them took the apple bobbing very seriously and ended up soaked from head to waist; lucky the sun was shining!