Wednesday, 21 February 2018

February 2018 maintenance work in the QEII Daniel Park community orchard

Friends of QEII Daniel Park had fun recently, removing the tree guards which have now served their purpose in protecting the young trees since they were planted, and then mulching the earth surrounding the trees with some fabulous well-rotted manure from Laverstoke Park Farm. Wheelbarrows, shovels, diggers and muscles were put to good use. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Maintenance in QEII Daniel Park

It might have been raining on Saturday last, but that didn't stop the hardy Friends of QEII Daniel Park from turning out to do some much-needed maintenance in the wild flower meadow and coppices. We cleared several patches of invasive brambles (and here are before and after photos of one patch), picked up rather too much in the way of litter, and removed a great many rabbit guards from maturing saplings no longer needing their protection. And along the way we made the acquaintance of some field voles. It's good to know that wildlife enjoys what's on offer in the field just as much as the human and canine residents of Whitchurch do.
If anyone would like to join the Friends at their next maintenance session, it's on Saturday 2 December at 9am. Bring thick protective gloves, secateurs and loppers if you have them.

Saturday, 9 September 2017


In what we suspect may be the first of many similar annual events, we had a fantastic morning today.

The town responded magnificently to our invitation to bring apples up to the QEII Daniel Park and there was a lovely atmosphere.  The press was in constant use throughout the morning, and Richard ( took away gallons of freshly squeezed juice to pasteurize and bottle up at his plant near Hungerford.

A massive amount of apples were also donated to FOWPS, which should enable them to raise a few hundred pounds for the school in due course.

Huge thanks to the following people who helped to make the event such a success:

  • Richard and his assistant Graham, My Apple Juice
  • Chris Blake, primary school Site Manager
  • Louise Walsh and all her helpers from FOWPS
  • Chris Bird (Sparsholt) and David Graty (Minstead Study Centre) - our apple panel
  • The Andover Museum Loft Singers, Paul Sartin and Jon Wilks
  • Gus, Emily and everyone from Stockbridge Young Farmers Club
  • Mayor and Mayoress Buckley and the Town Clerks
  • Linda and Jade at BDBC
  • Whitchurch residents who attended or helped their neighbours pick apples
  • and of course all the Friends of QEII Daniel Park who gave me the benefit of the doubt...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


apple decay of the making of cider - Stock ImageAfter this Saturday’s apple pressing, we will have a lot of pulp (pomace) to give away.

It makes wonderful compost, so do please bring a bucket and take some away with you.

If you know anyone who keeps pigs, let them know about it too – they love it.

Enquiries: 07979 908004

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

What kind of apples do you have? Help is at hand

Would you like to know what apple variety you have in your garden?

Image result for clip art apple question markWe are delighted to announce that there will be a panel of Apple Experts at Saturday’s event.  Sparsholt College’s Chris Bird (MHort (RHS), NCH, Cert Ed, MIHort) and David Graty (Gardener at Minstead Study Centre) will be on hand to identify your apples.

Just bring along up to 6 apples of a typical size, some leaves, a twig or two and a photo of your tree.  If you can, please include an apple that has grown in the shade and one that has grown in full sun.  Also, the king fruit (the largest one at the centre of a cluster) is a useful identifier.

Voluntary donations for the service will go towards Friends of Whitchurch Primary School (FOWPS).

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

More info about the 9 September Apple Day

If you are with us around midday, there will be music from the lovely and talented Andover Museum Loft Singers - they were there to celebrate the planting of the orchard back in January 2015.  They sing beautiful traditional folk songs under the leadership of the inimitable Paul Sartin.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Apple Juice Day - 9 September

Last month we asked you to tell us if you’d be interested in taking part in this event. The great news is that there is a sufficient number of you for it to go ahead. Richard, the apple presser (, is booked and eager to help the residents of Whitchurch and the surrounding area make good use of their cooking/eating/cider/crab apples by making them into juice. 

He will either give the juice back to you on the day so that you can make cider, or he will take it away, pasteurise and bottle it.  You can then buy it back for your own consumption, or contribute it to a local good cause, such as FOWPS – Richard will make sure it’s labelled appropriately.

Richard charges £2.50 per 75cl glass bottle of juice for individuals, and £2 for local community groups (who can then sell on at a 50p - £1 profit).  (The cost of providing juice for cider on the day will be much less.)

There will be live music from the Andover Museum Loft Singers, and family activities from the Hampshire Young Farmers’ Club.  We are also hoping to provide food and drink – if you know of any local catering companies who might like this job, point them in our direction!

Keep checking here or our new Facebook page ( over the summer for updates on details as we develop them.  Telephone enquiries – Caroline 07979 908004.