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.

Thursday, 6 July 2017


“Over 90% of apples in private gardens go to waste and yet…
60% of all apples eaten or drunk in the UK are imported”
The Friends of QEII Daniel Park need to gauge whether or not we will have enough local interest for a proposed communal apple pressing event to go ahead.  If you are interested and would like to receive more information, please:
·     complete one of the leaflets you may have received through your door or pick one up from the Town Hall, or 
·     see the form in the centre pages of July’s parish magazine, or
·     contact us via 07979 908004 or
 by 21 July at the latest.

No feedback, no apple juice!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Firemen to water the community orchard - look out for them tonight

Our fantastic firemen have said they will water our orchard again this year - watch out for them up at Daniel Park on Wednesday evenings - starting tonight!

File:Whitchurch Fire Station - - 430697.jpg

Friday, 16 June 2017

Anti-Social Behaviour

The Friends are aware of the reports of anti-social behaviour on the Field in the evenings and are liaising with the Town Council, Borough Council, Police and local residents.

Community Apple Pressing Event - 9 September 2017 - your opinion counts

Fact 1: Over 90% of apples in private gardens go to waste

Fact 2: 60% of all apples eaten or drunk in the UK are imported

Are you at a loss to know what to do with all your apples every year?  Do they sit rotting resentfully at the bottom of your garden?

Whether it’s a bucket full or a skip load, eaters, cookers, cider or crabs - help is at hand!

On Saturday 9th September, the Friends of QEII Daniel Park plan to host a communal apple pressing up at the new community orchard beside the primary school.  We also hope to provide children's activities, food and live music from local musicians.

Everybody from Whitchurch and the surrounding villages is invited to bring their ripe, undamaged apples from 9am on the day.  Even your cookers can be juiced.
Richard Paget from  will press them on site, and then take the juice away to be pasteurised, bottled and labelled with your name.  The juice will be sold back to you at a very reasonable price and will last for months in sealed glass bottles.

You could pool apples with fellow members of a local organisation, e.g. FOWPS, Testbourne PTA, Youth Club, and sell the juice to raise money for them.

But we need to gauge whether or not we will have enough local interest for this event to go ahead.  If you are interested and would like to receive more information, please email your answers to the following questions to by 21 July:
  • Do you have apples (anything from a bucketful to a skipload) that you would like to press?
  • Do you have a neighbour or friend who might also be interested?
  • Would you like any juice that you cannot drink to be sold in aid of a local good cause of your choosing?
  • Would you like to find out what kind of apples you have in your garden (e.g. eaters, cookers, cider)?
  • Would you like to make cider from your apples?
To give you an idea of quantities, one plastic crate (like our green glass recycling boxes) will hold enough apples to produce roughly 15 bottles of juice. 

Without feedback, the event won’t go ahead – SO DO PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!

Look out for leaflets which will be distributed around town shortly.

Contact: or 07979 908004

Tree SOS

The fine weather and longer evenings have seen increased use of QEII Daniel Park by local children, which is fantastic.  However, we are sad to report that a number of trees in our copses have been cut down or damaged.  Some trees have been sawn down, some have been cut with a penknife, and some have just been torn, pushed over or trodden on.  We think some of the trees have been used to make dens, but some appear to have been taken off-site and others presumably just damaged for the sake of it.
These trees were planted by BDBC using taxpayers' money, and are maintained by a small group of volunteers in their (limited) spare time as part of a careful programme of maintenance and conservation.
We are guessing that the sawing has been carried out by an adult.  The remainder of the damage seems to have been carried out by children.

Please can we ask all parents whose children use the Field to ensure that they follow the Woodland Trust’s guidelines on good den-making (reproduced here with their permission):

  1. Find a good foundation, i.e. large tree trunk.
  2. Build your framework around it by wedging a couple of large branches against the tree.
  3. Build the walls by collecting more branches and resting them against your framework.  Pack them tightly for strength and security.
  4. Use twigs and leaves to cover your den.
  • Don’t cut down, rip or damage any trees – only use fallen branches and twigs.
  • Do secure the branches properly.
  • Do be careful with large, heavy branches – drag rather than carry.
  • Do clear up after you.

For really clear guidance and pictures, see and specifically their “Den Building Sheet”.
And a last point: if you are allowing your child to use a penknife in a public place without your supervision, are you 100% certain they won’t have an accident?  Do they carry a “cuts kit”?  Are you sure the knife won’t fall into the wrong hands?  (See for some great safety tips on children and knives).

Friday, 12 May 2017

🍎Do you have too many apples every Autumn, and don’t know what to do with them all?  A bucket load?  A freezer load?  A skip load?!

We can help!

In the morning of Saturday 9th September, the Friends of QEII Daniel Park will be hosting a communal apple pressing up at the new community orchard beside the primary school.

Everybody from Whitchurch and the surrounding villages is invited to bring their ripe, undamaged apples from 9am on the day.  Richard Paget from will press, pasteurise and bottle the juice, which you can then buy.  Any profit made will be ploughed back into the upkeep of the Park.

Please save the date.  There will be more details nearer the time.

Contact: or         07979 908004

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Snowdrops Rescued - and Volunteers appreciated for Saturday 1 April

Snowdrop, White, Spring, Flower, NatureToday we rescued dozens of snowdrop bulbs from the verge on Winchester Road where builders are due to knock down a house and create an access road to the new housing development.  These bulbs were originally planted to commemorate the Queen's diamond jubilee.

We plan to replant them in two weeks' time on 
Saturday 1 April, 2-4pm - together with 500 more bulbs which have kindly been donated by the Town Council.  

Snowdrop, Spring, Signs Of SpringIf you are able to join us, your help will be much appreciated.  You will just need to bring a trowel and gloves.

If you have any spare snowdrop bulbs in your garden, we would also really appreciate it if you could bring them along - even if you can't stay to help plant, you can drop them off up at QEII Daniel Park on Saturday 1st April in the afternoon, or any time before then on the doorstep at 30 Church Street.