We hope you agree that with you all getting involved it was a remarkable year when our villages' orchard was established! Hard work and fun combined to make this a fantastic addition to the facilites on offer in the Chignals and Mashbury.
If you can give of your time helping to maintain this wonderful space, please let us know what is a good time for you to get involved - we look forward to hearing from you (there is an orchard email address lower down the page).
All events are subject to demand and logistics so your input is very much appreciated. We would also love to hear from our other local clubs to see how we could work together to share activities, so if you are a member of one of these groups let us know what we can arrange with you too. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know anyone who is not on email but would be interested, please pass on this information.
The bug hotel still needs more rooms so if your children/grandchildren/you want something to do and make another room that would be great.
October 2019 Orchard News: Orchard Fruit Celebration, Sunday 20th October, from 12 noon at the Chignals & Mashbury Village Hall, Mashbury Rd, Chignal St James CM1 4TS. As bad weather is expected our fruit celebration venue has been changed to the village hall where, as well as tasting and taking away fruit from the orchard we will enjoy home made refreshments and we invite you to bring your own surplus garden produce or preserves to share with others. Don't forget that our fruit is organically grown so be prepared to find occasional slight bird or bug damage and, please bring your own bags to take home your produce. The orchard fruit celebration follows on from the 11a.m. Harvest Festival service at St Nicholas' Church, Chignal Smealey, where you are invited to donate dried and tinned food for Chelmsford Food Bank. You can donate your food items either at the church or the fruit celebration.
September 2019 Orchard News: We'd really appreciate your help to do some HAY RAKING on Tuesday 10th September. Members of the committee will be at the orchard from 9.30a.m.onwards.Please bring a rake and wear protective gloves and sturdy shoes/boots as the ground is uneven. The annual scything and raking up of the meadow grass is one of the main tasks in managing the orchard and many hands make light work! It's also lots of fun so do please try to come along and help. Parking available on the playing field opposite.
June 2019 Orchard News: The date of the Community Orchard Wildflower Picnic was changed to Sunday 30th June to ensure that the Village Hall's toilet facilities were available on the day.
As a taster for the orchard wildflower picnic there was a Wildflower and Tree Walk on Saturday, 22 June at The Green, Chignal St James. The walk was at an easy pace and took around 1hr 30 mins - 2hrs.
May 2019 Orchard News: Many thanks to those of you who have responded to Simon confirming your sponsorship of an orchard tree. This scheme and other matters about how the orchard is managed and planned events were discussed at our public Annual Meeting on Monday 13th May at the Chignals & Mashbury Village Hall.
February 2019 Orchard News: We had a marvellous sunny day in the Orchard on 12 February for our first Hedge Social. A special thanks to all the people who came out to cut back hedges and to collect up the trimmings.
Malcolm provided us with very welcome hot coffee and we all got some fresh air and exercise, and caught up with village news!
Other events coming up this year include a Mid-Summer Picnic on Sunday 23 June and the Fruit Celebration in the Autumn
Photos show, left, the newly pruned hedges and, right, Barbara and Andy installing a new irrigation tube that we hope will make watering more effective this summer. Two new “Tun” apples, (traditionally grown in Chignal Smealey) have joined another “Queen” and a “Pearl” planted last week.
We look forward very much to seeing you in your orchard sometime this year.
October 2018 Orchard News: Sunday 14th October annual Fruit Celebration from 3 - 5 p.m. This was an opportunity for you to bring and share any surplus fruit/ homemade preserves you had, along with a picnic. Teas, coffees and soft drinks were provided. There was a bumper crop of quinces at the orchard this year so there was plenty of fruit for people to take away along with some recommended recipes. We also had orchard and hedgerow conserves for sale.
July 2018 Orchard News: **MOTH ALERT** - 24th July. Two Eyed Hawk Moth caterpillars were found feasting on the orchard's new Pearl apple tree. They were moved to a larger tree to continue their munching.
July 2017 Orchard News: Thank you to all who came along to cut the grass in July. The annual moth survey was carried out and shows that there are more species than in previous surveys. The list of wild flora growing among the rees is also growing longer.
May 2017 Orchard News: Thank you to all who came along and enjoyed the May Day sharing picnic in the orchard where a good time was had by all. A marquee was decorated with flower swags whilst prettily decorated buffet tables groaned under the weight of cakes, cheeses and every kind of savoury and sweet delight imaginable, all brought along by the visitors. Children danced with hoops that they had decorated while grown ups enjoyed tea and coffee from Jackie and Malcolm's camper van which they kindly brought along for the day.
January 2015 Orchard News: Despite the rainy weather at the wassail on the 3rd of January, many of you were not put off and came out to enjoy what we hope you thought was a jolly good time!
Enormous thanks are due to the Molly men who entertained us with dance, shouts and music. Through them we were able to witness old village traditions as well as learning an energetic dance!
The evening flowed smoothly and before we knew it we had welcomed in the new year, fed the trees with apple juice and hung toast out on the trees as well.
With all the music and singing we hope that we have encouraged healthy growth to the trees in 2015! (If you did not come along - just to recap - wassailing is a pagan tradition to encourage a healthy orchard the following summer. Molly men come along and sing and dance - their faces may be blacked up. We are all encouraged to join in and we also sprinkle apple juice and tie toast on to the trees. It's a fun activity following a very old rural tradition that takes place in the dark. Children love the freedom of running around at night time too!)
September 2014 Orchard News:We trust you have all had an enjoyable summer and have found the time to call into the orchard at some point. The bug hotel has been thriving, but we still need more compartments - so if you have been cutting and clearing in your garden, please bundle up twigs and bark and bring along to the hotel.
We have had fantastic comments placed on our notice board above. Visitors have stopped by to wander and have picnics in the orchard and children have told us what they have found. Fabulous
June 2014 Orchard News: Picnic barbecue and Bug Night:The weather was definitely on our side for our picnic, barbecue and bug night! We could not have asked for better.
Our bug hotel was officially opened by Zoe Nuttall as she cut the ribbon and more rooms arrived throughout the evening. There is still space for more additions, so add to the hotel when you can.
May 2013 Orchard News: The Jubilee Orchard is official! Even the sun made an appearance along with villagers and friends to witness the official opening of the Chignal and Mashbury Jubilee Orchard on Saturday, May 18th.
Our thanks to Phil Taylor from Lathcoats who officiated for us by cutting the ribbon and setting off the balloons as well as providing us with his own Lathcoats Coxes Apple juice. It was enjoyed by all.
Thanks to everyone for supporting the project so far - we have achieved so much in a short space of time. Our thanks to Transscape for doing the grafting on some very wet and windy days and bringing the project in on time.
We hope to have secured the benches in the next few weeks, so please use the orchard for your picnics, and stop overs on your walks. There are still additions to make on site, so watch this space!
To all that have adopted a tree, your labels will gradually appear on your tree, so another good reason to keep calling in. And if you have not already adopted a tree and would like to, we still have some trees looking for adopters! so please get in touch if you are interested.
Contacts: Malcolm Feltwell. Tel: 01245 441070. Email: email@example.com
Lynn Ballard. Tel: 01245 440880. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org