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Biodiversity, Community, Food

Langford Community Orchard is Bicester’s first community orchard and all are welcome to visit.

This is a great place to wander round this summer with trees, grass, flowers and fruit. Enjoy the breeze, birdsong and buzzing insects. Have a picnic and relax. The orchard is an oasis removed from busy roads and hard pavements.

The volunteers meet on the third Sunday of the month from 2pm – 4pm and welcome anyone who would like to come and join in the work. Refreshments are usually provided and it’s a lovely chance to visit the wonderful space and help in its development.

Our Mission Statement is
To provide a community orchard that is an organically managed resource for Bicester residents, schools and community groups. We aim to nurture this area of natural beauty and tranquillity, to enhance the range of plants and wildlife so that it’s an enjoyable place to spend time, have fun, learn, and relax.

So, where is it?
To get to the orchard on foot from the Market Square, go down London Rd over the railway crossing and immediately turn left along the railings and then down the long public footpath towards Langford Village. The orchard is on your right. Enter through the farm gate. From Mallard’s Way in Langford Village, walk up the footpath towards the town and the orchard is on your left. By car, you have to drive through new Langford Village and park in either Dunkin Close or Nuthatch Way and then cross over the footpath to reach the orchard.

Orchard history
Community Action Group Grassroots Bicester set up the Langford Community Orchard Group (LCOG) in 2011 to take on the orchard project. In August 2012, it was given permission by Bicester Town Council (BTC) to manage the site with ongoing reviews. The one-acre site was originally farmland with old ridges and furrows still visible which were formed by ploughing with horses. It was planted up with fruit trees and bushes by a landscape architect when Langford Village was first built, but then became neglected for many years.

What’s been achieved to restore it?
The first stage was to rescue the fruit trees from a massive overgrowth of brambles and elderberries which smothered everything. Bicester Green Gym joined in enthusiastically with this work all through 2012. As this was done, more fruit trees were discovered as well as redcurrants, blackcurrants, rasperries, and even mulberries!
The next stage over the last two winters was to prune the neglected fruit trees to remove dead branches and to let light and air into their middles and finally to mulch them with compost and grass mowings. We’re hoping this will give the trees new life so they will bear more fruit.

What are our main aims now?
Although beautiful, there is not enough variety of wild flowers to attract bees, butterflies, moths and insects important for pollinating the fruit trees. We want to plant a wild flower patch in the grassy area and encourage more variety in the hedges. There also could be more fruit trees as there is ample space and then there would be more fruit available to share. A rich variety of plants makes an attractive place for humans too!

Location: BICESTER

Contact: TBC

Address: Dunlin Ct, Bicester, OX26 6WQ, United Kingdom

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