Who Are Growing Newbury Green?
Growing Newbury Green was formed in 2012 after founder member Jeremy Gorbold suggested growing fruit trees on open spaces and parks in Newbury. With the agreement of Newbury Town Council we planted our first orchard at Barn Crescent that year and kept going from there! We now have over 60 apple trees in several sites around the town and awaiting our first major harvest any year now.
Alongside that we branched (sorry) out to filling shopping trolleys with herbs and lettuces and displaying them around town to publicise the Newbury In Bloom competition and in 2018 had a larger raised bed sited on Lock Island by the canal to try out a more substantial planting of crops - have a look at the photos further down this page.
We want to make more free food available in the town - it'll be local, fresh and an asset to the community over the coming years. Please join us on this growing journey.
A donation and plans for 2022
We would like to thank Waitrose for their generous donation of £400. This will help fund our plans for 2022.
These include -
- Finding space for a new micro-orchard, consulting with local residents and then planting the new trees - possible site is on Roebuts Close in South Newbury. We will be talking to residents on Sunday 16th January.
- Orchard pruning event at City Rec orchard on Saturday 29th January. Start time 2pm. Please bring: gardening gloves and sacateurs, good boots/shoes if wet.
- Planting an edible hedge at Barn Crescent – to include raspberries, hazelnuts, blackberries and other goodies. The planting is planned for 13th March 2022 from 10.00am. March is also the 10th anniversary of the planting of the Barn Crescent orchard our first.
- Replacing diseased trees. Unfortunately some of our trees have developed canker and although we have cut out what we can, some will need to be replaced.
If you would like to get involved with any of these projects then get in touch – details are on the contact page.
At last! With no Covid restrictions we finally had our first in person Wassail on Saturday 8th January at the Barn Crecent orchard. Despite the rain we had 25 revellers joining in. Here's some photos of the procession, cider pouring and our local singing group "Sing the World" performing an arrangement of an old Wassail song.
Expanding Barn Crescent orchard 2021 - Edible Hedge preparation and grass mowing - Sun 12th Sept
The next stage of expanding the Barn Crescent orchard starts on Sunday 12th October. We will be hay cutting and collecting across the site alongside the Lockdown Wood team, and also preparing the revealed fence line to plant a new edible hedge later in the autumn & winter.
Please feel free to turn up on the day and join in.
Lock Island Raised Bed - planting June 2021
We have an edible food bed on Lock Island - just by the Newbury canal lock in the centre of town.
First planted in 2019, it was left fallow last year due to the various lockdowns, but here we are in June finally getting it planted up again.
Many courgette plants were donated, so here's hoping for a decent crop.
Expanding Barn Crescent orchard 2021 - Easter planting
Newbury Friends of the Earth has teamed up with West Berkshire Council, Newbury Town Council and Hungerford Town Council to create three woods in the district as living memorials to the traumas of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find out more by searching for Lockdown Wood on Facebook or go to https://www.newburyfoe.co.uk/lockdownwoods.
On Good Friday and Saturday 3rd April we successfully planted 13 trees, including 2 pears, 2 plums and a damson with a small group of volunteers in 4 sessions. Many thanks to those who came along so we could finish the first phase of Lockdown Wood.
Images during lockdown 2020
Despite the lock down members of the group can still pass by some of the orchards during their daily walk. Here are some photos of some early blossom:
Here's Barn Crescent, on the left in late March and on the right mid-April. The warm weather over Easter really making a difference.