Apple Tree Planting at Bath Natural Burial Meadow

23rd June 2021#bath#nature
Apple Tree Planting at Bath Natural Burial Meadow

Sarah Wickham

Marketing Coordinator/Landowner

In 2015 we were planting apple trees at Bath Natural Burial Meadow. This was part of the orchard restoration project. Now we are looking back on this and have returned to see how the orchard had established over the last 6 years. The difference is astonishing.

The initial tree planting

On a sunny morning in March 2015, we visited Bath Natural Burial Meadow. There we met three families and helped them plant their memorial trees. You can find out more in the video below:

Why traditional orchards are so important

The apple trees play a crucial role in what we are trying to achieve at the meadow at Bath. It maintains Midford’s, and the Cotswolds’, natural beauty and safeguards against future development.

Traditional orchards are also really important in general. Unlike intensively farmed orchards which do not support biodiversity, traditional orchards are wonderful places that support wildlife, offer stability to woodland, hedgerow and grassland. They help to produce food in a way that works with nature. They protect our heritage apples and some of the older apple trees support rare lichens. It is for these reasons they are classed as a ‘priority habitat’. Unfortunately, they have declined significantly due to a number of reasons including intensive farming and human development.

However, the landowners at Bath Natural Burial Meadow saw an opportunity to restore one of these wonderful habitats. This is why we love natural burial grounds – because they protect, restore and heal. This applies to not only our countryside but also to us. These trees are special for not only the ecosystem they bestow but for the meaning behind each tree. While the orchard is now full it is a place all can enjoy. It is on the left as you enter the meadow and is somewhere you can sit and reflect.

We love natural burial grounds because they protect, restore and heal. – Leedam

The orchard now

Now in 2021, 6 years later we are looking at the orchard and how it has established. The trees are starting to mature and apples are growing. The difference that 6 years makes is really amazing. But don’t take our word on it, have a look for yourself. The photos below are of the orchard now.