This year marks five years since our wonderful orchards were first planted at Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire. 

We have two orchards in an area called Warner’s Corner, one a wild orchard and the other a community orchard. 

CRT caretaker Bill Parkinson said both orchards are progressing and looking beautiful – and the fruit crop this year looks to be the best yet. 

"We planted saplings five-years-ago and this year, they have come into their own.  

“This year, we’ve spotted a Pyramidal orchid in the wild orchard too and, in the same location, my first Marbled White this year. Signs of summer coming! 

We have cowslips appearing in the orchards for the first time. The wild orchard has native varieties of flowering trees and shrubs. We’re really encouraging diverse wildlife and it’s great to see.” 

Pyramidal Orchid in the orchard at Lark Rise

Pyramidal Orchid by Bill Parkinson

A Brimstone pair of butterflies at the Lark Rise orchard

A Brimstone pair of butterflies at the Lark Rise orchard by Bill Parkinson 

Bill said the community orchard has apple, pear, cherry and plum trees. Judi Dench, a CRT supporter, planted her tree five-years-ago – and Bill claims it is the best performing tree this year. “It’s had a really decent crop,” he says 

Sadly, several apple and pear trees in the community orchard have been targeted by codling moth, with four or five trees looking the worse for wear as a result of their activities. However, regular inspection and removal of the caterpillars by hand has averted any widespread damage. 

Codling moth caterpillars at Lark Rise Farm orchard

Codling moth caterpillars at Lark Rise Farm orchard

orchard at Lark Rise Farm, Cambridgeshire

Orchard at Lark Rise Farm

Ground conditions in the orchard after the wet winter and spring remain unsuitable for heavy grass cutting machinery but a period of warm dry weather forecast for weeks ahead should help resolve the problem,” says Bill. 

Our fruit crop this year really will be our best yet making up for the disappointment of previous years crops. We’re very much looking forward to it!” 

How you can help

We can’t do it without you. If you want to help us protect local wildlife you can support the CRT in any number of ways, from joining as a CRT Friend to volunteering on one of our farms and attending our events. You can also sign-up to our monthly newsletter 'CRT News' for regular updates from our farms, straight to your inbox.

Join Donate Volunteer News

Published: June 2024