Let’s get growing! Bourton Community Orchard and Gardens

Tom & Elisabeth Dixon

We are excited to announce the establishment of the Bourton on the Hill Community Orchard and Gardens.

Late last year, a group of enthusiastic village members came together to set up a community orchard to reinvigorate the Bourton allotments, and to beautify the village by planting wildflowers and bulbs at various locations. The gardens aim to create a new community space, encourage our kids (and us adults!) to grow their own sustainable food, and energise local conservation and climate efforts.

After being awarded a small community grant from the Cotswold District Council, we have secured tenure of, and cleared, an unused area of the village allotments. At time of writing, we have planted 12 fruit trees (mix of apple, pear, plum and cherry) and are drawing up ideas to create an expanded open community space for all village members to visit and enjoy.

In the middle of this year, we aim to launch a second phase of the project to encourage more wildlife, and we will plant native trees including crab apple, dogrose, hawthorn, hazel, wild cherry, dogwood and others on the larger site. We are currently in conversation with the Cotswold AONB about this phase, and have secured a number of native trees.

We are hoping to encourage a child-friendly allotment and orchard space, and welcome members of the community, including those with children, who would like to get involved in developing this further to contact us.

Entrance gate to the Bourton on the Hill allotments. Photo Credit: Tom Dixon, Bourton CGA

Community gardening

The current area being worked is suitable for planting approximately 20 fruit trees, and a second plot of land next to this is available for us to expand the orchard in future. The planned orchard, when fully planted, will contain 50% apple (local varieties where possible), and 50% mixture of plum, pear and cherry. The long-term vision of this project is that all produce from this orchard will be available to the community.

In addition to the allotment site, we hope this project will encourage more community gardening throughout the village. Following in the footsteps of residents such as the late Sir Peter Herbert, we have started to plant the verges and entrances to the village with a mixture of wildflowers and bulbs – keep an eye out as some of the bulbs are starting to come into flower this week!

More information & join us!

The group (the Bourton Community Gardens Project) is working in conjunction with the Bourton Parish Council and includes members of the Old School and Parochial Church Councils.

If you would like to be part of this new and thriving community, would like to sponsor a tree, or would just like to visit the site to see what’s unfolding, please contact Tom Dixon from the Bourton Community Gardens Association on BourtonCGA@gmail.com.

Over the coming months, we will be looking for donations of unused garden benches, polythene sheeting and various garden equipment – so if you have anything you are not using, we would love to hear from you.

Please note, there are also a limited number of allotment plots now available within the village – if you’re interested in growing more of your own fruit and vegetables please get in touch.

You can read more about the allotments and community gardens here.

This project is made possible through funding from:

Bourton on the Hill Parish Council

We also acknowledge the kind contributions from other village members who wish to remain anonymous