During the 18th and 19th centuries the Severn Gorge was full of orchards, and this site used to be known as Brick Kiln Gardens. Sadly, the previous orchard became derelict, but was re-established through the planting of new fruit trees in 2000 by local residents and volunteers. Set in the heart of Coalbrookdale, this community orchard offers a great source of free fruit, so be sure to bring a basket in the autumn and get collecting!
Shropshire Apple Trust advised on the trees that were planted, which were provided by Dolau-hirion Nursery. It is now managed by the Trust, and there are volunteer days in winter to carry out pruning and orchard maintenance.
From Coalbrookdale Community Centre (where there is free parking available) go through the gateway to the side of the building and cross onto School Road. Follow this up until a footpath splits off to the left. Follow this until you see a sign about Woodside Community Orchard on your left.
“….orchards have always formed an intimate and distinctive feature in the landscape, many having endured on the same site for hundreds of years….conservationista have also come to recognise the rich ecology and biodiversity of orchards reflected in a wide range of species including an array of invertebrates, butterflies, moths, birds, bats etc. There is a growing interest in orchard skills lost over a couple of generations but reacquired without difficulty given the interest.” Michael J Pooley (1951-2010)
Coalport Community Orchard
This Community Orchard was planted by volunteers in 2006 and is situated close to Haywood and the Coalport China Museum. As you explore you will find some different varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries. The fruit from this orchard is free to collect and use, so bring a basket and get picking!
Orchards are not just great for providing fruit, they are also a haven for biodiversity, offering homes for a variety of different wildlife. The combination of trees, grassland, hedgerows and scrub creates a mosaic of different habitats. The Trust manages this orchard with the help of volunteers, carrying out winter pruning and maintenance sessions.
There is parking available next to the Shakespeare Inn (https://goo.gl/maps/oFPBsXABLCUPVdxMA). Head up above the road onto the grassy area, then head right, past a bench and the orchard is ahead, beyond a hedge.
Orchard Blossom Day Activities 28th April 2023
Why not have a go at playing ‘Blossom Detective’. Download the sheet opposite and try and spot as many different types of blossom as you can whilst you take a walk through the countryside.
Some blossom looks similar so use the trees leaves to help identify them.
Blossoms can also be used in a variety of recipes, why not have a go at making one of the recipes above. Click on the image to download the recipe.
A. E. Housman author of a Shropshire Lad also wrote a poem on blossoms – he was obviously enamoured by the beauty of the cherry blossom
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
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