The Community Orchard

By Alexander Johnston

There is a community orchard in Kirk Langley, tucked away off the lane. It’s a hidden treasure trove of fruit and berries.

It’s open to the public, and I think it’s really good because it has everything from cooking apples, pears, quinces and sloes in the autumn, to raspberries and elderflower in the summer. This autumn, we have also gathered rosehips and hawthorn berries (haws) to make into syrups.

I like to go there in the summer when the grasses are really tall, and me and my friends make little dens in the grass. It is also nice to go on a sunny day with a picnic and watch the amazing bird life there. There is a Big Lunch every year in August where there is an event shelter and everyone brings a contribution and there is a big table that everyone sits at.

In the autumn, I like to go to the orchard because that is when the apples are ready, and it is fun to go round and taste the different varieties. My favourite type is Red Devil because it is so sweet and crunchy and it has an amazing pale red colour underneath the skin. The orchard is a bit overgrown, but this is good habitat for wildlife, and we see mouse holes in the grass, blue ground beetles, lots of birdlife, butterflies and bees.

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