An account of the development of the Stibbard Centenary Orchard from overgrown allotments is available on the 'About' page. Here the further development of the orchard is recorded as a blog going backwards in time.

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The wild flower meadow strip at the back of the orchard was left uncut throughout the year and only mown in the Autumn. The main development was a decision to extend the orchard through the Autumn and into Spring in 2023. This will involve the incorporation of five already established trees and the planting of four new ones. Details of these varieties are included on the ‘Trees’ web page. This will also allow us to recognise another Stibbard villager (William Curson) killed in the Second World War; something that we have been trying to achieve for a while.

Several trees yielded fruit this year, although the heatwave and associated drought took a toll with some apples aborting. Stars in terms of yield were the nicely established Bramley and the Victoria plum.


The main achievement in 2021 was completing grass sowing under trees towards the back of the orchard. This area proved a job too far before the opening and was at first maintained by regular weed removal. This year the soil was properly prepared and new grass see sown. An opportunity was taken to include a band of wild flower meadow between the back row of trees and the access ride alongside the hedge. A ‘Diverse Wildflower Meadow Seed’ mix was bought from ‘Grass Seed Store’ who also provided our main orchard grass seed.

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Early Days

Following on from the formal opening of the Centenary Orchard the first couple of years saw the grassed areas mature and the trees grow. The latter involved extensive summer watering and required winter pruning. Trees varied in age due to the fact that time constraints demanded the use of pot grown varieties. Deer are a major problem in Norfolk and we lost our first Norfolk Beefing when an entire ring of bark was chewed off. Fortunately, a bare root replacement was found and secured after a drive into Suffolk. The replacement tree has survived and started to catch up with the other trees. Several trees produced fruit in the early years after they were planted but in limited quantities as one would expect. The main objective has been to get the trees well-established for the future.

stibbard orchard