TCTOP – Old Rectory
The Old Rectory located near Whitbourne is an old orchard which has more recently been replanted and then been more or less abandoned. A plaque on a fallen post near a walnut tree records a tree planting by Maureen Lipman 19th October 2000, as an inaugural tree for a phase of orchard restoration.
COG volunteers have undertaken three surveys of the orchard to date in addition to identifying and tagging all the living trees. There are 75 trees in all, comprising of 30 apples, 11 cherries, 5 damsons, 9 pears, 2 mulberries, 12 plums, 2 walnuts and an unidentified fallen tree probably apple or cherry.
The longevity of the orchard is still apparent in the remnants of the old trees, which include several fallen and decaying old fruit trees. The trees have grown at differential rates, with the apples, pears and cherries doing well, but the plums are struggling for survival. Pheasants are living happily in the thick patches of brambles.
Plans are underway to clear the sward and to ascertain what work is required on the extensive swarms of suckers arising from the roots of the older fallen trees and of newer planted trees, in addition to clearing the dense and congested canopies of the apples trees.