Merry Christmas from HICOP

2013 has been a good year for HICOP and a lot of progress has been made on the orchard. This time last year, we had just signed the licence agreement with the Parish Council and had possession of an empty acre of ground.

Over the course of 2013 we have created a boundary for the orchard by planting over 200 metres of native hedge plants that will help the orchard become an important part of the local ecosystem. Gates have been put up, including an easy-access gate for wheelchair users. Patches of wildflowers have been planted that will increase the diversity of grassland plants in the orchard. A total of 35 fruit trees have now been planted, including a wide variety of local apples, pears, plums, and gages.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the tremendous support that HICOP has received both from individual villagers as well as some groups and institutions that have provided both labour and funding to help the orchard grow. If you’d like to help out with future work, sign up on our voluntering page.

With many thanks to all involved, this has been our 2013.

Schools involvement

Early in the year we were delighted to have a stand at the Junior School Science Day where we had a great response and a thoroughly enjoyable day. We have also had sessions planting flowers for the Wildflower Meadows with the Early Years Centre, the Infants School, and the Junior School.

Events

A busy 2013 here. In February we held a pruning workshop had our official Planting Ceremony. April saw the AGM, in June we held our Moth Breakfast and in July we had a stall at the Feast again.

In September we had apple picking at the IVC orchard and our own Orchard Event Day, with bird ringing and apple juicing.

During the year we have also had our stand up at various village locations as well as provided speakers for various village groups.

Work

The HICOP volunteers

At the start of 2013 the orchard was basically a blank piece of ground. Thanks to the efforts of the HICOP volunteers, GE Energy, Barclays, and Chivers Farms we end the year with the orchard in a very healthy state.

Notable work has included the school days planting patches of wildflower meadow, planting the first trees, GE Energy working on the busway hedging, and the fantastic effort made by the Barclays team, Chivers Farms and the volunteers in completing all the boundary work before the end of the year.

Special thanks to

The HICOP volunteers, The Woodland Trust, the Parish Council, the Feast Committee, GE Energy, Barclays, Hain Celestial, Chivers Farms (Caroline Chivers and Phil Scott in particular), and the RSPB (especially Malcolm Ausden and Nigel Butcher) for their time, labour, knowledge and support.

2014 – the year ahead

We already have plans for a Wassailing event on January 31st and more tree planting on February 8th. We have ordered some seating that will be installed in the new year and will continue to look into further tables and benches as well as a piece of artwork. The meadow will develop as we plant more trays of meadow flowers and later in the year we are planning another juicing day as well as more wildlife days down at the orchard.

Merry Christmas
&
Happy New Year

from The HICOP team