Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Film: The Orchards of Husthwaite

In this video Cameron Smith, trustee of the Orchards of Husthwaite project, describes the history, the management and the successes of this village initiative. A truly inspiring community project the lessons of which can surely be replicated elsewhere and not just with apple orchards.

About the Orchards of Husthwaite

Husthwaite has been known for many years as the Orchard Village due to its history of fruit growing and jam manufacture dating back for three centuries. Many of the houses (garths) had large fertile gardens with productive orchards and villagers were able to ensure that fruit growing was effectively utilised.

Production reached a peak during the First World War when fresh fruit was transported from the now defunct Husthwaite railway station. By the late 1960's nearly all of the existing orchards had been removed and there was very little evidence of the village's heritage.

The Orchards of Husthwaite Co-Operative was formed in 2009 with the intention of replanting the vanishing orchards and using the fruit to make and sell a variety of products.

The first phase of the project has been the replacement of the estimated 80% of trees that had disappeared since the 1950s. This has involved planting over 500 new trees in and around the village. In order to ensure replacement continuity a nursery of rootstock trees has been established in the village.

The second phase started in 2010 and involves the production and sale of cider, fruit juice and related products. Any surpluses will be used to support village activities and projects.

Useful Links:

Orchards of Husthwaite

Northern Fruit Group

Husthwaite Village.

Husthwaite History

Husthwaite School