This week is orchard blossom week and we're celebrating by helping you to find the best places to spot these colourful fruit flowers. With small orchards and fruit trees dotted around the landscape, there's plenty to see using our Blossom Map.
Blossom is fantastic for pollinators but also provides a sprinkle of colour in the spring with the promise of fruit in the autumn. If you've spotted any blossom in your garden or on your walk or cycle around the Malvern Hills and Commons, we'd like you to share your blossom pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Sadly, in the UK 90% of traditional orchards have been lost since the 1950's. To conserve orchard habitats locally, we have undertaken some work to restore a lost orchard - read the story of Polly's Orchard below.
Restoring Polly's Orchard
In the autumn of 2021, the ground work began to bring a long lost plum orchard back to life. In February 2022, volunteers from the Colwall Orchard Group joined the Malvern Hills Trust to plant 10 plum trees in the orchard near St Andrew’s Road to replace those lost over the years. A few old plum trees still
Local varieties including Pershore Purple and Evesham Wonder have been planted to support the rich heritage of traditional orchards in the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. The planting is part of a larger tree project supported by the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
With thanks to a kind donor, another 2 plum trees have been planted in Polly's Orchard. These varieties are Malling Elizabeth, chosen to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The orchard has also been given the name Polly’s Orchard. Mary “Polly” Cartland lived nearby at Littlewood House, Poolbrook Road. Polly, mother of novelist Barbara Cartland, was known to host picnics for the Brownies and Guides in her garden, spent time walking on Malvern Common and was heavily involved in the local community.
The orchard is open to the public to explore and fruit will be free for the local community to collect and eat.
Find out more about orchards (local and nationwide):