Our old orchard came back, blinking into the sunlight in 2011 and has been recovering ever since.
In 2012 we gave the trees their first pruning and fertiliser for over two decades. Jan has identified one of our venerable trees as 'Lane's Prince Albert' - a Victorian cooker. We think another is an old 'Bramley Seedling' - our county's greatest contribution to orchards across the world. The ground beneath the trees naturally regenerated with grass which we allowed to grow to maturity before taking a hay cut in high summer and then mowing until the autumn. Bulbs have been planted beneath the trees and transplanted cowslips planted into the grass. Cowslip seed has been broadcast along with that of white camassia and small quantities of yellow rattle.
Climbing roses and a honeysuckle have been planted to grow through some of the older trees.
Now to add some new trees: to celebrate my big birthday I've bought cider apple trees 'Red Foxwhelp' and 'Stoke Red' whilst Linda and Trev generously bought me a 'Golden Hornet' crab apple.
A little while yet before the first glass of Cordwood cider but that's the plan...