Henry le Strange Community Orchard

Henry le Strange Community Orchard

Commemorative Plaque for Olive Coggins on a bench in Le Strange Community OrchardSituated in the grounds of Hunstanton Community Centre lies our very own Community Orchard.  The Community Orchard was named after the founder of the town of Hunstanton, Henry le Strange, and was formed in 2011 – boasts some 101 trees in 2014. It has proved to be a highly successful community project and it is hoped that it will provide a harvest of all kinds of fruits (edible fruits expected in 2014) as well as become an important home for a variety of wildlife. Many different varieties have been planted such as apples and cherries. Everything in the Orchard is grown organically there is a biodiversity area in the Orchard which is a home for bug life to help the Orchard grow and create equilibrium for all life cycles. Many trees are Heritage Norfolk varieties including The Robert Blatchford apple, bred and raised by local nurseryman Fred Chilvers here in Hunstanton in 1914.

Trees within the Community Orchard have been chosen, sponsored and planted by local businesses, community groups, individuals and families. Indeed, Redgate Junior School and Hunstanton Infant School children have worked very hard planting over 25,000 native wildflowers including Primroses and Oxeye Daisies which continue to creep throughtout the Orchard. There is, in fact, specific trees for each of the schools: a Smithdon High School tree, a Redgate Junior School tree and a Hunstanton Infants School tree.

Situated in the midst of the Orchard is a donated memorial bench which bears a plaque: “in loving memory, of a dear wife, mother and nana. Olive Coggins”

Edible fruit expected to be harvested in 2014 and 10% of any harvest is intended to be left for the birds.

The Orchard is managed organically with a team of volunteers led by our Orchard Warden and Biodiversity Officer.

Orchard Warden & Biodiversity Officer: Adrian Withington
Initiator of the Project: Kate Dunbar

Kate Dunbar: “Many thanks to all our supporters including NCC who helped establish this project by awarding us a Community Conservation Grant. We are members of East of England Apples and Orchard Project and Fields in Trust who have protected our field from development for 999 years. How wonderful.”


Anglia in Bloom judges visit Hunstanton Community Orchard - photo by Stella Gooch

Anglia in Bloom judges visit Hunstanton Community Orchard – photo by Stella Gooch

Fruit ripens and is harvested. 10% of fruit left for wild creatures and birds. Leaves change colour and fall. Wildflowers drop their seed.

Fruit swell and shoots grow. The trees may need watering and the grass mown. Stone fruits such as plums and cherries can be pruned.

The trees blossom and attract early bees and insects. Buds burst and leaves begin to grow. Birds fill their nests and rear their young.

Trees are dormant and their branches bare. Pip fruits such as apples and pears can be pruned.