Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

22-01-11 : Dorich House orchard extravaganza

Dorich House museum and its historic 100 year old orchard was the setting for our day of orchard antics...

Dorich House in the Autumn

A big group of staff, students and local residents turned up to help restore the old orchard and to expand it with 7 new fruit trees!

The day was run in conjunction with The London Orchard Project, a brilliant charity which promotes the creation of new orchards and the restoration and management of existing fruit trees in the city. 

We started off with an enlightening lesson in how to properly prune our fruit trees, before we got stuck in doing the real thing. Even the tallest of our trees was not immune to a bit of a hair cut as we wielded our pruning saws on their 4m extension poles!

Pruning the old trees to promote healthy growth
Creating log piles with all of the branches that we removed. A baby grass snake that we found in the tree mulch is the first resident!

After a bit of a lunch break, we all got the chance to look around the Dorich House museum (in our slippers - a move inspired by the house's former owner and the subject of the museum, sculptor Dora Gordine).

The afternoon saw a little bit of sunshine to help us along with the tree planting... we planted 4 apples, 2 pears and a peach tree. The apple and pear trees were chosen for their historic and local provenance - they are all varieties that would have been planted at the time our original orchard was new.

Newsflash: A story about the project found its way into the Surrey Comet!

Big thanks go to:

- All the brilliant volunteers who came along on the day
- Carina and Russell from The London Orchard Project
- Bob, our orchard expert for the day
- Ian, who gave us a great tour of the museum
- Brenda, Kate and Marchin from Dorich House museum whose enthusiasm for the project got it off the ground!

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