The lost orchard of Stirchley

'The Fruit and Nut Village'
Plums and damsons, apples and blackberries, mouthwatering delights mostly hidden amongst the slow rolling tide of bramble amidst forgotten riverside pasture. The bramble is pervasive and laden this year with plump, ripe pickings feasted upon and collected in punnets for home consumption, although pick one eat two seems to be the method most favoured.

 There's a continuing interest for food growing nearby, especially fruits, in a city well known for its gardens, parks and allotments; and a somewhat neglected parcel, partly known as Ten Acres together with its east-of-river neighbouring land of no particular name these days, is mostly traversed by speeding cyclist, striding greenway commuter, meandering dog walker and tottering youngster or elder, generally paying no attention left or right.

Sue tells us of a man who knew a man who once planted fruit trees at the edge of the old pasture, damsons, apples and plums, possibly 50 or more years ago. There's definitely an orchard feel about the collection, and as yet no better forthcoming explantation of their origins . So the lost orchard is found by the folk of the 'Fruit and Nut Village'.

Members of The Fruit and Nut Village, Felipe and Dr. Rob together with local fruitcakes Dr. Sue and Ranger.
Following coffee, tea and water, even though alcohol was available, at a nearby continental styled cafe bar the group ventured to the River Rea sidings a short walk away.

The site of Ten Acres has been blogged about before so let's not repeat too many details. In this case we're talking both the old Ten Acres to the west of the River Rea at Stirchley together with the swathe of land comprising the 'lost orchard', an alder woodland and a flood alleviation swale and bund on the east side of river.

Woodland Wednesdays will provide opportunities for like minded people to enjoy this fascinating green space located between Dads Lane and Cartland Road.
Rangers and orchardeers (new word) will be working alongside wildlife experts and enthusiasts, keen volunteers, local people, tree managers and a host of others from near and far to help enhance the site quite naturally and thoughtfully. Working 'in' and 'around' and 'with' nature, whilst at all times considering the benefits of wildlife diversity.

Woodland Wednesdays will begin in earnest during September 2018 and in the meantime discussions will continue as we build a management plan for the site - several ideas including raising funds, publicity and promotion


Popular posts from this blog

Beyond The Rea and off to historic Hill Top Nature Reserve in Sandwell Valley Country Park

Extract from 'Lillie's Journal of Garden Delights'