Puttenham Parish Council manages an area of land on the slopes of The Hog’s Back (Puttenham Down). Dave Williams, who advises the Parish Council on all sustainability issues, came up with a fantastic initiative to create Puttenham Parish Orchard on this area of land using old Surrey apple and pear tree varieties.
As a result, Dr. Giles Groome CEcol, CEnv, MCIEEM Consultant Ecologist was called in by Dave to conduct a full botanic survey of the area. The full survey is attached below.
Following the survey, COPSE community orchard project became involved. COPSE woks with SCC to deliver their 1.2m new trees by 2030 ambition.
It was concluded that the meadow did look botanically interesting and that, by using a method of Strategic Orchard Planting, an orchard could be created and also serve as a way of replacing ash tree die-back by planting a number of fruit trees over time at a low density along the edge of the meadow as the ash tree line retreats. It was also suggested that any planting should be at a minimum of 20m from the A31 to ensure the safety of growing fruit for consumption.
6 fruit trees were planted in the Spring and, as they have taken and grown so well, a further 6 trees were planted in the Autumn. Some recent photographs of the area are shown below.
The area is under constant review and it is hoped to continue planting more trees when advised to do so. Further reports and photographs will be published here accordingly.