Last year, due to lockdown we held our AGM using Zoom but attendance was very poor. We therefore decided that, like many other local organisations, we would not hold an AGM this year but will do so next year when, hopefully, we will be able to meet inside when the new Sea Scout hall will be available.
We are grateful to the Co-op Community Fund and those Co-op members who chose the Memorial Orchard as their local good cause so that we could receive 1% of everything they spent. As a result we received two payments from the Co-op in 2020. The first on 9th April was for £635.82 and the second on13th November for £2254.82 making a total of £2,890.64.
Fiona and I laid a wreath at the orchard at 11.00a.m. on 11th November 2020. Unfortunately lockdown restrictions at the time only allowed two people from different households to meet outside. However, two individual passers-by stopped some distance away when we observed the two minute silence.
Work continued at the orchard between lockdowns in 2020 although during lockdown some volunteers worked alone or as a married couple. Our first official workday of 2021 was scheduled for Tuesday, 4th May but this was postponed until the following week due to heavy rain. We are particularly grateful to Geoff Hornby and Rob Lloyd who join action group members on a regular basis at our work sessions.
In order to know the variety of each tree we have tried several different labels but each one has faded over time. During lockdown in early 2021 Brian devised a colour coded labelling system using different coloured washers. He and Jacquie spent a lot of their time attaching the washers to each tree so that we can easily identify the variety using a code now displayed on the notice board.
Due to the unusual weather conditions in 2020 our circle of wild flower seeds sown in memory of WW2 service personnel did not produce as many flowers as we had hoped. Our thanks go to Brian who generously donated 100 native daffodil bulbs which we planted in the centre of the circle. The suppliers claimed that they would not flower for one or two years but we were treated to a glorious display of yellow in March this year. We have therefore planted another 300 this autumn. Unlike cultivated daffodils the native variety provides a vital nectar source for early pollinators such as the Queen Bumblebee and hoverflies. Each daffodil flower produces 20 seeds and each one that germinates will take five years to grow and produce a flower. Native daffodils were at one time known as ‘Lent Lilies’.
In April we were treated to another burst of yellow as clumps of cowslips appeared all over the orchard. These were soon replaced by a variety of other wild flowers. Our policy of only mowing at the end of summer/early autumn is having the desired effect which is to bring back the wild flower meadow which was seeded by the Woodland Trust many years ago.