The apple tree in the nature reserve

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Richard tells the story of the time he accidentally cut down a young tree in his local nature reserve and the great lengths he subsequently went to to replace the felled tree and – more importantly -tend to the new one.

I’m Richard Evans and I’m a volunteer on the Tewkesbury Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve is about a hundred acres. It’s just a few hundred yards from Tewkesbury Town Centre and part of the nature reserve is a community Orchard and we have plums and apple trees there and in the spring of 2019, I was cutting back the grass and weeds with a petrol-powered brush cutter and I was wearing the full protective Gear with the mask, which restricts visibility a bit, and the weeds were very tall – as tall as one of these small apple trees – and unfortunately, I managed to chop down one of these small trees.

Naturally, I felt guilty so I thought I should plant a replacement, and the reserve manager said he wanted a local variety. So I went and bought a Worcester Pearmain.

And this was just at the start of a really hot, dry spell. So to help the tree get established, I thought I should water it in because it’s on a slope and the they free draining.

So there’s no Taps nearby. So I got some fermentation bins from cider making, put them in the back of a Land Rover, filled them up from home and them drove down to the orchard, two or three times a week for about a month, to keep the apple tree watered and a year later it’s got plenty of fruit on it. So hopefully that means it’s well-established and it’s going to survive.

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