The first trees in the Aston Abbotts village orchard were planted in 2011. By the spring of 2021 we had 133 trees. Of these 49 were apple. We also had significant numbers of pear (25) and plum (30) and smaller quantities of cherry, damson, quince, mulberry, medlar and walnut. And one fig! From the beginning, although we have planted some familiar varieties such as Victoria (Plum) and Bramley's Seedling (Apple), we have also looked for lesser known varieties, and in particular for varieties with some significance for someone in the village or with a local connection. The orchard has been entirely financed by villagers. The way this works is that an individual or family 'sponsors' a tree with an initial payment (the going rate in 2021 is £35). The orchard has had generous and enthusiastic village support from the beginning, with no shortage of sponsors. A complete and regularly updated record of trees and their sponsors is maintained, with sponsors invited to add personal comments as they wish. At present a copy of this complete record is kept in the orchard shed. A short version of this record appears in this section of the village website. This short version lists varieties and where they are planted. Click here to see the tree listing (Acrobat PDF file - opens in a new window).A small organizing group looks after planting and general maintenance with welcome help from villagers. Anyone from the village is welcome to walk in the orchard or use it for village events - for example the GNOMES and Book Club have used it for meetings. Those new to the village may wonder about the name of the orchard. The late Vic Scott was a much-loved neighbour and friend, and an exceptionally knowledgeable gardener and naturalist. He also had an extremely mischievous sense of humour. He lived in Aston Abbotts all his life, for many years in the house on The Green of which his great-grandfather had been the first occupant in 1854. The orchard project and the wish to commemorate Vic's life in some way happily coincided.As we move into the orchard's second decade we are delighted to have come so far. There are questions that we need to address, in particular how many trees it will be practicable for us to plant and look after, and why some trees have thrived better than others. We welcome comments, that can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or expressed at the annual orchard meeting in the village hall.The orchard can be found behind the allotments on Wingrave Rd. Please enter via the field gate on Wingrave Rd, beyond which you will see a further field gate leading to the orchard. Please respect the allotmenteers and their labours! Please also respect the fact that the land on three sides of the orchard (excluding the allotment side) is private.More pictures of the inaugural tree planting here.
The late Vic Scott, pictured here on a fete day. Picture credit: unknown