St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Orchard Planting

After nine months of planning and preparation, St Nicks’ very own community orchard is finally in the ground, ready to flourish and provide a free and delicious food source for the surrounding community!

Bearing Fruit ended up hosting four separate planting sessions to get all of the trees in, but it was worth it as it meant many new faces were able to be part of the project! Here is a summary of all of our planting days.

Saturday 3rd December 

Present: Eileen, Vicki, Nicola, Ellie, Johnathan, Harry Barker, Harry Blake, Isobel.

Digging the tree holes

Vicki, one of our park rangers, was in charge of the first planning day and she was ably assisted by Ellie and Nicola (our other two park rangers), and Eileen from the Core Group. This planting session was tied in with one of St Nicks’ regular Eco-Active Days, meaning our efforts were helped out by eight of our wonderful Saturday volunteers.


Healing in the trees. With all of the help we managed to get a lot done!


Our volunteers proud of their hard work!


We planted six of our Yorkshire Heritage varieties, a Bramley, a Hawthorn, Crab Apples, Plums, Damsons and mixed fruit hedging that included Guelder Rose, Alder Buckthorn, Hazel, Blackthorn and Crab Apple.



In addition to the planting, Tom, our Project Manager at St Nicks, showed off his expert grafting techniques.


Monday 5th December

Present: Vicki, Paul, Darren, Eileen, Elly,

Despite the ominous clouds in the sky, the five of us went out and planted five more trees before our session was halted by hail stones!

Trees planted included five types of apple tree, including a very intriguing variety called the Dog Snout, a rare pear-shaped apple native to Yorkshire. It is quite hardy and reliable so it is suited to our northern climate. We also planted one of each of the varieties Hunt House, Cockpit Improved, Winter Cockpit and Balsam.


Saturday 7th Jan – Eco-Active Day: Bearing Fruit Hedge Planting

Present: Jonathan, Ivana, Ben, Tim, Sarah, Richard, Lyle, Davina and Carrie.

Ivana, our Centre Manager at St Nicks, led a group of mostly new volunteers to plant some of the remaining mixed fruit hedging not far from the Heritage Orchard site. Once again the activities were tied in with our regular Eco-Active Day activities.

Eco-Active Volunteers

Our Eco-Active Day volunteers are proud of their work

Monday 9th Jan – Core Group Session

Present: Jonathan, Jill, Eileen, Steven, Stephen, Darren.

It was fitting that the Bearing Fruit Core Group were able to plant the last few trees, as they did most of the planning for the community orchard. Together the group planted a mixed fruit hedge to finish off the Heritage Orchard Site.

Stephen and his Tree

Stephen stands next to the tree he has planted

The group also finished off the planting day by checking around the rest of the trees for any signs of vandalism and by adding any soil and compost to trees in need.

All of our trees were provided by R.V.Roger Ltd.

Our Bearing Fruit project isn’t finished yet! For more details or to find out how to get involved in please check for work days on the events page on our website or email

1 February 2012 | Categories: Volunteers' diary