Apple Day will celebrate 25 fruitful years

IN 1998 members of Avon Organic Group (AOG) were looking for a site to plant a new community orchard in Bristol. One day, walking along the lane from Bishop Road to Longmead Avenue, Pauline Markovits, the woman with the inspiration for the orchard, spotted fruit trees in blossom on the other side of the allotment fence. Among the flowering trees was the apple that has come to be known as the Golden Hill Pippin.

Now a deep-rooted community food project, Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO) invite all readers to celebrate their 25th anniversary at this year’s Apple Day on Sunday 22 October. Highlights include the Apple Tasting table, and human-powered juice pressing. Arrive early for homemade cake, fresh-pressed juice, and the pick of plants and preserves.

 The sale of young fruit trees also raises funds for the orchard. Earlier this year HOCO members, who are volunteers, took part in several grafting workshops, and have looked after the baby trees since then. Pre-ordering trees is highly recommended. See the HOCO website for more information.

I’m pleased to report we’ll have some Golden Hill Pippin trees for sale, along with many other HOCO favourites. It’s a gorgeous looking and wonderful tasting apple. We’re not sure if it’s a one-off, but since HOCO rescued the abandoned allotment plots 25 years ago, this tree has been nurtured back to health and fruitfulness.

HOCO members are also delighted by news of a successful funding bid to the West of England Combined Authority’s Community Pollinator Fund for a project called Bee Active, Bee Fruitful! Visitors to Apple Day will be able to see a proto-type wild beehive suited to small gardens installed in the Home Orchard Plot. More pollinator-friendly projects, along with opportunities for community volunteering, are planned in the coming months.

Shannon Smith


Sunday 22 October, 2-4pm

To find the orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP) – Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road & Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right.

OR Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue (BS7 8QQ) until you come to the last gate on the left.

Please contact HOCO c/o the website to sign up for up-to-date information:

Phone: 0117 373 1587