Jubilee Green Orchard at the top of Park Road:click here for location map For an aerial map, please scroll to the bottom of this page.
Overview & Management This open space is owned by Bridport Town Council (BTC), and maintained by volunteers, BTC, and local residents. It has eight fruit trees, a small copse underneath a large ash tree, some open grassland and a range of native trees and shrubs growing at the southern end. At the centre of the site is a weeping lime believed to be at least 25 years old. Excellent views across the town to the south and east are enjoyed by many local people. Some history In late 2011 Bridport Town Council (BTC) took ownership of this open space from West Dorset District Council. The Bridport Community Orchard Group (BCOG) was invited by BTC to take on management responsibility for the site and plant fruit trees, native deciduous trees, and native wild flowers and bulbs. The initiative formed part of BTC’s 2012 Jubilee Project, for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and for this reason the area has been called Jubilee Green. Developing the orchard In March 2012, generous funding from the Lions Club of Bridport (as part of the Lions' international tree planting initiative) enabled the purchase of 9 fruit trees, 25 native species of tree saplings and a commemorative Jubilee Oak (a native English oak). These were established with help from Bridport Town Council, the Lions and some local residents. The donation from the Lions Club also funded some of the initial costs of the project and the purchase of yellow rattle seed. West Dorset District Council awarded funding from its Community Fund, which funded a noticeboard, and also spring flowering bulbs, daffodils, wood anemones and snowdrops which were planted during 2012 and early 2013. The noticeboard, which had suffered some weathering, has recently been removed and repurposed in our other community orchard off South Street in Bridport.
On 8th August 2012, representatives of all those involved in this project (The Mayor, several Town Councilors, representatives from the Lions, the orchard management committee and some local residents) met together on Jubilee Green to celebrate its creation.
One apple tree that had been damaged, the Pitmaston Pineapple, was removed on 22nd April 2018.
The varieties of apple tree now on site are: Adams’s Permain (Dessert), Allington Pippin (Culinary/Dessert), Golden Ball (Cider), Melcombe Russet (Dessert), Pomeroy of Somerset (Dessert), Rosemary Russet (Dessert), Warrior (Culinary). There is also a Medlar.
The weeping lime tree that pre-dates the creation of the orchard is occasionally pruned by tree surgeons to maintain its health and shape.
The final significant change came in Spring 2015 with the removal of the non-native laurel from the north of the site. This was replaced by a spinney of about 40 saplings of native trees including hawthorn, crab apple, blackthorn, hazel, elder, silver birch and wild rose.
A small part of the site is being managed as a wildflower meadow, and one of the wild flowers that is being encouraged is yellow rattle, which suppresses vigorous grass growth, enabling other wild flowers to become established. Wild flowers found on site include lady’s smock (cuckoo flower), corky-fruited water-dropwort (a member of the umbellifer or carrot family that is nationally scarce, but locally common in Dorset), wood anemone, knapweed, self heal, bird’s foot trefoil, betony, rough hawkbit and ox-eye daisy. Management of the Orchard The area is managed to meet the following key objectives:
The fruit trees are pruned during the winter season to maintain their shape, encourage attractive blossom in spring, and a healthy crop in autumn.
The grass is regularly cut by the Town Council using a tractor mower
The copse underneath the ash tree (to the north of the tarmac path) and the collection of trees and shrubs to the south of the site will be allowed to mature with minimal maintenance. The main task being to control any growth of vigorous weeds that could smother them if left unchecked
A small meadow area, on the bank to the southeast of the site is maintained using traditional methods of scything, that encourages wild flowers to flourish. The area is scythed in late summer or early autumn, and the cut grass removed so that the fertility of the soil is reduced, thus encouraging the proliferation of wild flowers that favour poor soil.