Fairfield Parish Council

East Orchard Citation 2010

The site was recognized as a Traditional Orchard County Wildlife Site on 30/09/2010.

Fairfield East Orchard CWS Survey September 2010

This site is typical of a neglected traditional Orchard with a number of healthy, dead and dying Apple trees in close proximity with mixed scrub and grassland beneath. Though originally planted and managed for use by Fairfield Hall residents (previously a hospital) neglect has led to the site taking on a wilder, more natural feel and is extensively colonized by lichens.

The orchard contains approximately 50 Apple (Malus domestica) trees thought to be at least 80 years old. The varieties have not yet been fully determined but Bramley’s Seedling, Ellisons Orange and Lady Sudeley are all present along with “other Laxton” varieties as yet unconfirmed.

Most of the trees are quite large and show evidence of structural characteristics of being Biologically Significant including: hollows, holes, water pockets, rot, deadwood (in some cases entire trees have died), loose old bark, broken branches, splits in branches and insect exit holes.

The grassland is continuous across the site where there is not dense Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.) cover, in many places the grass is allowed to grow long and contains numerous herbs (not recorded to species level). Few other tree species are present although there are some Elder (Sambucus nigra ) and Sycamore.

All the trees (particularly the Apples) are densely covered in lichens and two species have recently been recorded here for the first time in the county – Piccolia ochrophora (Strangospora ochrophora) on Elder bark and Hypotrachyna afrorevoluta on Apple bark. The discovery of these species indicates a lichen population of some significance as well as it being extensive.

The site is located in the east of Fairfield Park in Stotfold. It is bordered to the west by abandoned tennis courts and a cricket pitch, the north by standard trees and car parking and to the south and east by recent housing developments.

CWS Recognition September 2010

The site was recognized as a Traditional Orchard County Wildlife Site on 30/09/2010.

The West Orhcard Citation click here.

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