Across the valley from our Brymbo orchard lies the village of Brynteg, the site of another 50 trees we planted in conjunction with the local school on their land. Set on top of a hill (Bryn = hill, Teg = fair) the orchard has far reaching views West to Wrexham and East to Minera mountain.
About 10 years ago another orchard had been planted on site, but lack of maintenance and damage from pests had caused many trees to die and others struggle to establish. However, after clearing around the remaining trees they were found to be producing a decent crop.
Under the old field boundaries, hedges left to grow into mature hawthorns and hazels, swathes of native bluebells appear every spring. Small wildflower meadows had also been planted across the site as part of the previous project, but little remains amongst the overgrown grass. We plan to try and reinvigorate these areas by reintroducing some wildflower seed and mowing the grass early in spring and again in late summer.
The rest of the site had become a tangle of brambles and in summer was covered with 6 foot high bracken making any use by the school impossible. This was compounded by the open site being misused by dog walkers and people leaving rubbish strewn about. Last year a few days were spent using a wheeled brush cutter to break through the brambles
We began fencing part of the site off so as to allow use by the school for studying wildlife and using the orchard, whilst allowing local residents to continue to use the other half of the site.
The children from the school not only helped to plant the trees, they have also been selling the apple juice made from the existing trees. Any profits from the juice will go back into the schools projects in this new outdoor classroom. We have also applied for and received a free hedging pack from the Woodland Trust to create a natural shelter and wildlife corridor, which will also be planted with the help of the school.
For more information on the orchard project follow @brymboheritageorchard on facebook https://www.facebook.com/brymboheritageorchard/