Volunteers' Week: Leading the volunteer group at Broad Oak

Volunteers' Week: Leading the volunteer group at Broad Oak

At the Broad Oak Orchard near Sturminster Newton, there is a local volunteer group who help the wardens to maintain this beautiful pocket of old orchard - Tony Stables leads the group.

Broad Oak Orchard was donated to Dorset Wildlife Trust in 1999 by Broad Oak resident, Mrs Agnes Smee. The orchard is maintained by a group of volunteers along with the Dorset Wildlife Trust wardens, currently Ben Atkinson and Assistant Warden James Cartwright. The wardens cut the grass top and bottom once a year and the volunteers rake it up two days later as well as helping to prune the apple trees in January. This year Ben and James organised hedge laying for a section of the hedge surrounding the orchard. They have done a great job which we hope will be completed next winter. 

The orchard is used by the Broad Oak Residents’ Association to hold social gatherings, such as hog roasts and picnics and there has been an annual Apple Day for over 20 years, held at the beginning of October, which is very well attended.  It has taken many forms but in recent years, the apples have been pressed to make apple juice, some of which is consumed on the day and the rest is made into cider.  Joy and Paul Wallis kindly bring along their cider press and work hard on producing the cider, assisted by Broad Oak residents. The cider is then kept for the next year and used for the social gatherings!   

Hedgelaying at Broad Oak

Hedgelaying at Broad Oak Community Orchard