Memorial Orchard AGM

Logo - tree over apple.
Background

The year 2014 marked the centenary of the start of The First World War and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.  Following an open meeting at The University Primary Academy, Weaverham, on 17 December 2013 an Action Group was formed with a view to establishing a Community Orchard.


AGM 2020

In order to comply with the necessary social distancing rules to avoid the spread of Covid-19 we are holding this year’s AGM on Zoom at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21st July 2020

If you would like to participate in the AGM please contact the Orchard by sending an e-mail to orchard@weaverham.org.uk or by our Contact Us page.

Click here for the Agenda for the meeting.

Click here for the Chairman’s Report and Accounts.

Alternatively you may submit questions to be asked at the meeting by sending an e-mail to orchard@weaverham.org.uk, by our Contact Us page, or by writing to the Chairman c/o this address:

28 Church Street
Weaverham
Cheshire
CW8 3NG

The Battle of Britain 10th July – 31st October 1940

 80th Aniversary 2020

Poster: Never was so much owed by so many to so few.

Following the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk and the fall of France, Germany planned to gain air supremacy in preparation for the invasion of Great Britain.  The Luftwaffe began with an air and sea blockade targeting coastal shipping, convoys and shipping centres but on 1st August 1940 they were directed to achieve air supremacy by incapacitating RAF Fighter Command.  Within days this led to them not only targeting airfields but also aircraft factories and infrastructure.

The Battle of Britain was the first military campaign fought entirely by air forces and the bravery of RAF pilots of Fighter Command flying Hurricanes and Spitfires supported by ground crew led to the defeat of the Luftwaffe forcing Hitler to abandon his invasion plans.  The Battle of Britain was fought over Southern England and was later to be followed by the Blitz (starting with a bombing campaign over London and later targeting other major cities in the country such as Liverpool).

The Battle of Britain saved the nation from invasion and we have to thank the many pilots of the RAF as well as those from other countries who fought so bravely and, in many cases, sacrificed their lives.

Read more about those who gave there lives serving in the RAF here


Armistice Centenary Service of Remembrance

To commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918 we held an Ecumenical Service of Remembrance at the Memorial Orchard, Thorn Wood on Thursday, 15th November 2018 at 10.45 a.m.

Standard bearer ar memorial service.

It was well attended  by over 100 people; members of the clergy, The Royal British Legion and Burma Star Association, veterans and their families, local councillors, local Police Officers, our MP and representatives from our local schools.

You can see more photos here: Photo Gallery

More information here Armistice Centenary Service of Remembrance


Keeping in contact.

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Aims

  • To establish an orchard in memory of all those who fought in two World Wars and in more recent conflicts.
  • To commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
  • To save the Wareham Russet apple tree from extinction and to grow it alongside other Cheshire heritage fruit trees.
  • To plant additional pocket orchards of Wareham Russet apple trees in the locality.
  • To provide an amenity for Weaverham, Hartford, and neighbouring communities.
  • To facilitate educational visits and social events.

Visit Us

The Memorial Orchard is in Thorn Wood on Northwich Road, just outside Weaverham.

WCMO have leased a plot of just under one acre from the Woodland Trust, who own Thorn Wood. The 25 year lease was signed in December 2015. The Orchard is to the right of the footpath as you go through the gate.

You may visit the Memorial Orchard at any time. We also plan to hold events such as Apple Days and Wassailing.

The Orchard: Spring 2018

We have completed our winter planting and, as of April 2018, we now have a total of 149 young trees in the Orchard.  Seventy of them are Wareham Russetts, and of these 52 are grafted to semi-vigorous rootstocks (MM106 to our botanically-minded readers!) and should grow to around 4-5m tall. The other 18 have been grafted to very dwarfing (M27) rootstocks and we have planted these together in two concentric circles. They should only grow to about 1.5 – 2.0m tall and it is our hope that they will develop into a miniature orchard suited to children.

Laying out the Children’s Orchard
Planting the new saplings

We also have another 79 trees. All grafted to MM106 rootstocks, they are made up of 12 different heritage Cheshire varieties. The present layout is shown below:

Planting Plan, April 2018
The northern end in May
The southern end in May

In addition to the Wareham Russetts that we have planted in the Orchard, we have also donated or sold another 19 saplings to organisations or individuals in the Weaverham area. We hope that in this way, by ensuring that the new trees are spread around the village, we will be able to ensure that the future of the Wareham Russett is once again secure.

One of the two Bee Hotels!

In May we also installed two Bee Hotels. Made by Fiona Casson and her father, we hope that these will help to encourage bees to visit our trees for pollination!

We do have another 20 grafts growing on, which again were prepared for us by Harry Delaney at Reaseheath College (see the earlier post here); 15 more Wareham Russetts – which we expect will all be donated to more organisations, or sold to individuals – and 5 Rakemakers, which we want to add to the 2 that we already have in the Orchard.

Finally, as we have said before, many varieties of pear were used to dye uniforms khaki during the First World War. It is believed that the Hazel Pear, commonly grown in Acton Bridge, was one of them. We intend to plant 2 of these, together with 2 Cheshire Prune trees (damsons).

We intend to manage the orchard in an environmentally sensitive manner, and to share the harvest when the trees are mature. To help us in this respect we are always looking for volunteers to help with the ongoing maintenance such as weeding, pruning and litter-picking. We usually have fortnightly work mornings, especially during the summer months, and if you would like to join us please contact us here.


We hope the Memorial Orchard will become a reminder of Cheshire’s apple, pear and damson growing heritage, helping to preserve for everyone to taste and enjoy many old varieties once commonly grown in this area. We also hope it will provide a place of quiet reflection for us to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.


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Weaverham Community Memorial Orchard
Registed as a charity with HMRC in England and Wales (No. EW23706)
A non-profit making company incorporated at Companies House as a Company Limited by Guarantee.
Company number 9657902.

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