Welwyn Hatfield Council are planting a number of Community Orchards within the Borough. The long term aim is to develop small orchards or easily accessible fruit trees within every ward. To ensure this project is sustainable and continues to be enjoyed and appreciated through future years, the Tree Wardens are key to delivering this dream. Community Orchards offer an excellent place for people to relax, work and learn. They are a way of reviving an interest in traditional horticultural skills as well as enabling people to engage with nature and gain an understanding of where their food comes from.
Orchards are a groups of five or more fruit trees. The climate of the East of England is perfect for cultivating apples, pears, cherries, plums and gages. Historically Welwyn Hatfield had many orchards, supplying fruit for the farming families and surrounding markets. Many have been lost but some remnants can be found fragmented across private gardens and open spaces.
Each of our orchards varies in size and utilises many different varieties of fruit trees and are freely accessible for any open space visitor.
Where there is no suitable land available for a micro-orchard, single fruit trees will be incorporated within the public landscape. This gives opportunities for planting unusual trees which may be too large to plant in groups.
Where are they?
Our largest orchard is sited at Woodhall open space at the junction of Chequers and Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City.
Micro-orchards can be found at:
Stonehills, WGC (opposite John Lewis)
Furzefield Road, WGC (open space)
Lemsford Lane and Newfields, WGC (the junction of)
Beehive Green, WGC
Sheepcote, WGC (near Howlands)
Marley Road, WGC (openspace)
School Lane and White Hill, Welwyn (openspace)
Comet Way, Hatfield (rear of Talbot Road)
Alban Way, Hatfield (at Branch Close, Ground Lane and Foxhollows), and
Forge Orchard, Hertford Road, Digswell (keyholder access only)
Aims for the Orchards
to plant and cultivate local and/or unusual varieties of fruit
be open and free for the public to enjoy
to encourage community involvement or focal point for community activities such as open air plays, picnics or fetes
to encourage opportunities for learning new skills like pruning and grafting
encourage wildlife to inhabit the area, especially pollinators, mosses and lichens
provide an educational resource for local schools and open air classroom
be used as a meeting place for local events such as Apple Day, May Day and Wassailing
to raise awareness of orchard projects
to promote the health benefits of eating fruit, pickling and tasting new fruits
to raise awareness of where fruit comes from and how it grows
encourage people to plant fruit trees in their own gardens
The orchards are overseen in partnership with our Tree Warden group. If you would like to get involved with planting, growing and enjoying fruit trees, please join the Tree Wardens and you will be invited to all working groups, talks and training sessions. Tree Warden tasks include:
choosing the fruit varieties
planting the trees
monitoring protective guards, fencing, ties and stakes
undertake light general maintenance
observe flowering and fruiting
talking to interested parties
eating some fruit!