Norham Community Orchard is now flourishing, in spite of set-backs related to the weather (too wet/ too dry) and the Covid-19 Lockdown.
Come along to the Orchard in the Jubilee Field and have a look at the Fruit trees and all the different varieties that you can see on the Labels.
The Community Orchard was planted in January 2020, with funding from Northumberland County Council’s Community Fund and people in Norham who adopted all the 42 trees.
The trees are growing rapidly now and are producing their first fruits
Orchard in February, June and August 2020
Reviving a Tradition
Many gardens in Norham have had a few fruit trees or small orchards over the years and there was a market garden near the Castle during the Second World War.
In the Tweed Valley there have been orchards since the times of the great abbeys, in Jedburgh, Melrose, Kelso, Dryburgh and Coldstream. Norham’s Community Orchard is reviving this long tradition of fruit growing.
The 42 trees in Norham Community Orchard include Apples, Cherries, Damsons, Gages, Medlars, Pears, Plums and Quinces.
There are some very ancient varieties and local varieties in the Orchard. These include:
Apple Court Pendu Plat dates from Roman times
Apple Tower of Glamis is a traditional Scottish variety from Clydeside.
Apple White Melrose is thought to have originated in Melrose
Apple Hunt House was taken to sea to prevent scurvy by Captain Cook
Old Green Gage is one of the oldest plums/ gages. Some greengage stones were found in the wreck of the Mary Rose (which sank in 1543)
Pear Jargonelle is one of the oldest pear varieties
What has been happening in the orchard this year?
THE CALENDAR OF THE ORCHARD
FIRST 3 MONTHS 2020
· Rain in late Autumn 2019 and early January prevented clearing of the site
· In a drier spell, tree roots and brambles cleared
· In mid-January the orchard site was rotavated
· In late January, all 42 fruit trees planted: 19 apples, 2 cherries, 3 damsons, 2 gages, 2 medlars, 7 pears, 5 plums, 2 quinces.
· Another rainy spell – trees well-watered
· Some flooding of the Jubilee field, below the site of the orchard
· Light pruning of the apple and pear trees – but not the stone fruit trees.
· All trees growing well and becoming established
· Intention to apply a bark mulch around the base of the trees postponed as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.
SECOND 3 MONTHS 2020
· Clearing of the area between the trees delayed because of Covid-19 Lockdown.
· Opening event for the Community Orchard delayed.
· Book of the Orchard with a plan of the orchard and names of adopters and sponsors of trees posted on share files on Norham Life website.
· Bark mulch applied around the base of all the trees.
· Two planters of herbs, donated by the community, planted near bench in Jubilee Field.
· Working party of 10 Community Volunteers started to clear overgrown area between trees.
· Working party of Community Volunteers completed the clearance around the trees and strimmed around the 2 blocks of trees.
· Grass seed donated by McCreaths of Berwick and sown between the trees.
· Rainy spell and grass seed germinated rapidly.
· All 42 trees growing well and grassy areas between tree blocks mown.
For more information, the longer BOOK OF THE ORCHARD, is posted on the Norham Share Files. This contains a plan of the orchard and the names of all Adopters and Sponsors of Trees & Acknowledgements.