Welcome to Dartmouth Community Orchard. It sits between College Way (the main road into the town) and Ridge Hill / Mount Boone. The two orchard paddocks are linked by old woodland to form an unspoiled, rural area on the edge of Dartmouth. It is owned by the Town Council.
The paddocks contain approximately 130 apple trees of over 50 different varieties of traditional West Country apples, and the whole area is rich in biodiversity.
People come for quiet contemplation; to walk their dogs; to sit and admire the views over the Dart; or to watch the wildlife. They can enjoy the events held in spring to celebrate the reawakening of the orchard with its fine show of blossom and spring-time flowers, and in autumn to harvest the apples and make juice and cider.
The Orchard occupies a prominent hillside position between College Way and Ridge Hill/Mount Boone (enclosed in red line above). It covers 3.3 acres and is owned by Dartmouth Town Council who described it in their 2006 Strategy Document as a "community orchard" managed for wildlife conservation and quiet recreation.
In 1995, field experts carried out a wildlife survey of its trees and plant life. It was clear that the Orchard is a valuable place for wildlife. Sixty-six species of plant including 'massive sweet chestnuts... a large Monterey pine... and some magnificent oaks' provided feeding, roosting and breeding habitats for birds like tawny owls, woodpeckers and blackcaps as well as other small creatures including bats. The Orchard is also rich in insect life.
The trees in the orchard are being constantly renewed as old trees die and new trees are planted. Seats and information panels encourage visitors to enjoy this special place.
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Newsflash from Peter Shaw Chairman of the Friends:
Wednesday 13 March 2019:
Rob Harkness, Town Groundsman, thinks that there will probably be the right weather conditions to spray the highly toxic Hemlock Water-dropwort next week (beginning 18th March). The best conditions will probably be early on Tuesday morning.
Trained personnel will use spray approved for public spaces and there will be signs to notify dog walkers and others.
There is no danger to humans or animals from the process.