Cripley Island and Castle Mill orchards

Cripley Island Orchard

Cripley Island Orchard is a heritage orchard and communal area on the north-west corner of the Site, accessed across a bridge behind the Association shed. All members are welcome to use it, but the fruit is only to be picked and shared on designated Working Party days.

Here is the original 2008 leaflet describing the proposal for the development of Cripley Island Orchard. Wendy Skinner Smith worked to have the land added to our lease and organised National Lottery Local Food funding, which Alison Campbell then managed. In 2009 and 2010, Wendy and John Sivell managed the development of the orchard. Wendy continues to oversee the orchard with commitee help.

In 2016 many of the trees were found to need stabilising as the tumps had eroded. A programme of maintenance was developed and begun by Rodney Smith, who was co-opted to the Committee. The tumps were re-grassed to stabilise them and the covers are gradually being replaced, stakes redone and strimmer guards added to the tree guards. Rodney reports to the Committee.

Castle Mill Orchard

In 2014 Oxford University donated the trees for our Castle Mill Orchard area, in recognition of the disturbance caused by the Castle Mill development. The orchard was planted by the University’s Parks Team. Our members continue to manage the island with coppicing, pollarding and pruning. Fruit is picked and shared on designated Working Party days.

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