Welcome to the North Cumbria Orchard Group website
North Cumbria Orchard Group is an independent association founded in 2010 to conserve, promote and celebrate orchards in North Cumbria. Although not as traditionally associated with orchards as more southerly and easterly areas of England, in years gone by, most of the farms in North Cumbria had a small orchard to supply fruit for the family and farm workers. The Group seeks to preserve what is left of these orchards and to encourage the planting of new orchard trees to conserve local varieties and to establish varieties that perform well in the local climate.
By pursuing these aims, we hope to realise a number of important benefits:
- To maintain and improve biodiversity. Orchards, and particularly traditional orchards, provide an excellent environment for a diversity of plant and animal species.
- To encourage sustainable food. Orchards produce good crops of fruit which is usable year-round for very little input. Locally produced food involves minimal energy usage and positively benefits the environment. Furthermore the flavour of such fruit is frequently superior to imported supermarket fruit and certainly provides for much greater variety and interest.
- To improve health and well-being. Eating fruit is good for you. Pressed juices are healthier than manufactured drinks and 100% juice cider is healthier than apple-based alco pops. Planting and caring for trees aids mental health and orchards in cities provide a welcome sanctuary.
- Last, but not least, if you join the Group, you can have lots of fun with all sorts of activities such as orchard visits, juicing days, pruning and grafting sessions, cookery events and social activities.
This website is designed to support the Group’s aims by providing helpful information to the public, particularly the residents of and visitors to North Cumbria, as well as providing a networking centre for members of the Group. If you experience any difficulties using the site or have any suggestions for improvements, please contact the webmaster.
Posted 22nd Mar 2016 by Kate Stewart
The day commenced in fine style with a demonstration of how to create matching notches in a rootstock and scion, then make the incisions known as the whip and tongue and slide them together, enabling ... (read more)
Posted 28th Feb 2016 by Kate Stewart
It was fantastic to be at Bill & Mary Potter’s fine, lichen-covered old orchard and we couldn’t have asked for better weather; still and bright with a definite feel of things beginning to grow, al ... (read more)
Posted 25th Feb 2016 by Kate Stewart
With twelve attendees present, each with their own reasons for wishing to start an orchard, this was a busy and lively occasion. Much ground was covered, from unassailable points such as altitude, as ... (read more)
Posted 4th Jan 2016 by MarkEvens
On December 5th 2015 we held our first "Orchard Planning Workshop", Aimed at anyone proposing to plant an “orchard” (which could be anything from 4 or 5 garden trees to a hundred or more in a sep ... (read more)
Posted 6th Nov 2015 by MarkEvens
The group had an extremely busy day milling and pressing large quantities of fruit. The day was well attended and clearly it has been a good harvest despite the cool spring and summer. The cider club ... (read more)
[NCOG] Summer Social (and more..) by MarkEvens
Newton Rigg Grafting, or, how to create a portable orchard by Kate Stewart
[NCOG] Grafting Workshop, 19/3/16 by MarkEvens
Maryport pruning: Great hospitality & happier apple trees! by Kate Stewart
Planning event the second: food for thought at Acorn Bank by Kate Stewart