In 2009 the Wildlife Trust suggested the creation of an orchard on waste land at the edge of Midsummer Common. The Friends of Midsummer Common took up the challenge and presented their proposal to Cambridge City Council (the owner of Midsummer Common). Constructive discussions were held with Council officers before Councillors gave their approval. FoMC was given a licence to carry out the work and money to buy the trees and equipment.
Volunteers set about clearing the site and they continue to maintain it. The planting of fruit trees began in 2010 and there are now over 50 trees growing in the Orchard. Apples, plums and gages, pears, and cherries are grouped together. Other trees fill the spaces in an orderly layout. Gaps are left for community groups to hold a picnic with a couple of benches and a table provided.
The newly planted trees needed careful attention. Formative pruning helped develop a balanced tree shape with a strong branch framework. After 10 years their health still needs careful monitoring - to identify and treat any diseases. Every tree planted still survives! There is a written history of the Orchard's first decade.
The Community Orchard is run by members of FoMC on a voluntary basis. It’s a beautiful space with a variety of trees, fruit to pick, seating areas, and other plantings. Do come and visit us anytime and, if you’d like to help, see how to volunteer. Everyone is welcome - of any level of ability or expertise.
If you have any questions about the Orchard please contact the Orchard Manager for answers.