I think it is fair to say that Village Apple Days and the Apple Pressing Days have been an unqualified success. They have brought villagers together in celebration of our local fruit and fruit trees, the autumn harvest and the joy of gathering and preparing food and drink. Last year was, of course, a fallow year: hardly any fruit on the trees and little or no chance of gathering the forty pound boxes of apples necessary to fill the village press. The press itself only left storage four times, and in the early Spring we had to cancel the Apple Pressing Day planned for the beginning of last October. We hope that the blossom, the bees and the weather will this year deliver the bumper crop of fruit to make up for last year.
Meanwhile, work has continued on the idea of planting a community orchard as a new Village amenity. Those interested have consulted widely over the last 12 months and a consensus is beginning to build around the proposal. The original proposition, described in Linda Dixon’s article in The Villager last year, has been radically re-thought as a result of the very helpful input from many of you. Part of the opinion gathering process was the stand we presented at last year’s Village fete. As you might expect, the views expressed ranged from outright opposition to enthusiastic support – with enough of you expressing support, however, to encourage us to continue looking at the project. We have looked at five potential sites in the Village to assess the options. There are a number of possibilities, but any final proposals put to you for consideration will require some further work in conjunction with the preparation of the Community Led Parish Plan. Your comments are important to us and before any plan can be taken forward we need to hear your views. In order to make the debate more accessible to all we have launched a website. It is intended to be a focal point so that you can see some of the proposals and think about them, as well as offering feedback. It is still under construction, but do pay a visit and see some of our initial thoughts.
If you would like to talk to the Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Village Orchard Group, please feel free to contact our chair, Robert Field, on 836275 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we are considering bringing back the Village custom of wassailing. The provisional date for this is the eve of Twelfth Night, so shortly after next Christmas. There will be more about this in the next edition of The Villager and we will be posting details on-line in due course.Robert Field
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