© 2012 Headless Cross Community Orchard. Made by MAC

Headless Cross  Community Orchard
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Notwithstanding the dreadful images that a name like ‘Headless Cross’ invokes, there’s a local project that celebrates the abundance of fruit, bringing people together for the common goal of a community orchard.

The Headless Cross Green community orchard has preserved an area of prominent leisure space by planting more than 20 fruit trees. Work is undertaken by local residents, including schools, and whilst they await the fruits of their labour they’re turning their trowel to establish a wildflower meadow there too.

Planted in 2010 and with uniquely Worcestershire varieties of fruit tree, one famed apple variety is the Doddin, barely seen outside of Redditch yet with a heritage in the memories and stories of elders around the town. In particular, the Redditch Everywoman's Circle planted a Doddin to commemorate their 50th anniversary.

Helping to renew interest in fruit growing and local heritage through the Doddin apple, we have worked closely with the Doddin Preservation Society and a local organic nurseryman who is raising grafted trees for sale.

Many of the other fruit varieties can be distinguished as county names; like Lord Hindlip, Madresfield Court, Rushock Pearmain and Pershore Purple.
But who could resist such suggestive tastes as the Pitmaston Pineapple, King Coffee and Yellow Egg?

We have engaged local schools in the project, asking them to raise and plant wildflowers for the meadow. During spring we have a remarkable show of daffodils on the Green alongside the pavements. This is now followed by plum, apple and pear blossom. Other notable new additions that are doing well are cowslips, ragged robin, vetch and foxgloves.

Headless Cross Green was once a more urban site, as a row of houses (with gardens) and shops until the 1970s. Since then several proposals have been made to develop the site with buildings. In 2010 local residents came together to plant a community orchard, in the hope of permanently preventing the threat of building development.

In the last sixty years the orchard area of England has declined by over 50%. This is no less true in Worcestershire, so community orchards like this have a vital role to play in the future of food security and our landscape.

Click  the picture to read more…

The New Bench!

Headless Cross - When I were a lad!

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history of the Green

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Headless Cross Orchard has been awarded Fields In Trust (FIT) status.

FIT permanently safeguards outdoor recreational spaces in perpetuity via a Deed of Dedication. This legal instrument is unique to FIT and approved by the Charity Commission and allows FIT to act as a guarantor between any landowner and any potential future development.

 The preferred model does not involve FIT owning or managing sites as FIT firmly believes this is best left in local hands with decisions made by local people. FIT protection provides reassurance that the future of any recreational site is secured for the benefit of future communities.

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 The Butcher Boy

The painting “Headless Cross Shops” is by local artist Mark Pettifer.

Our thanks to Mark for allowing us to use it on the website.

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01527 554 221

This film was shot from a taxi through Redditch around 1968, thanks to Derek Young & Co.

 The Wine Empourium