The full name for the Orchard is The Fairfield Millennium Green and Community Orchard, but it is usually referred to it in a shortened form: ‘the Millennium Green’, ‘Fairfield Community Orchard’ ‘Fairfield Orchard’ or just ‘the Orchard’.
- The orchard was created in 1999/2000 using a Millenium Greens Grant on land that was given by Lancaster City council on a 999-year lease.
- The grant did not cover the cost of a contractor, so members of the association dug out the paths and planted trees themselves.
“An open space for the benefit of and use by local inhabitants as an area for informal recreation, play, other leisure-time occupations and a meeting area for community events.”
- In the main part of The Orchard there are over 100 trees, including native apple, pear, crab apple, stone fruit and medlar. This area is intended for people to enjoy and to relax in.
- At the northern end are old gate posts carved in 2012 by Joanna Szuwalska. This area is often used for events.
- A willow tunnel marks the boundary between the accessible area, and a part which is left wild with dense undergrowth, which is good for birds and other wildlife.
- At the southern end is a fine oak tree, planted at the turn of the millennium.
- Further on, shrubs have been planted on either side of the path to encourage wildlife such as butterflies.
- The grass is mown by volunteers. It is kept fairly short as this is a recreational area.
- Taller trees are inspected annually for safety.
- A team of trained volunteers manage the fruit trees using a documented works programme, including pruning, inspecting for disease and mulching young trees.
- Hedges are trimmed to allow access along the paths.
- Footpaths are kept in good condition.
- The orchard is a community orchard and anyone can pick the fruit and nuts. Please let them ripen before picking and please don’t take too many – we would like everyone to be able to enjoy them.
- Fruit trees will continue to be maintained and replaced when necessary.
Where is the ORchard?
It is a couple of minutes’ walk along a public footpath leading from the end of Sunnyside Lane in Lancaster LA1. If you are driving to it, drive down Ashfield Avenue (near the railway station, off Westbourne Road) to access Sunnyside Lane.
The Sunnyside Lane entrance immediately off Westbourne Road is rather narrow to drive down. Just walk along the right-hand side of the cottage at the end of Sunnyside Lane and keep going!
Find out more
We maintain a record of how the various areas of Nature Reserve are progressing. Photographs have been taken on roughly 5 occasions each year: March, mid-May, late June, early August and late September. Click on an image to launch the survey photograph album.
Photographs launch in an album in Google Photos and should appear in date order in the album. To find out the date particular photos were taken, first select the photo and then select the ‘i’ icon (top-right of screen) to bring up its properties.
Look out for
An old sycamore tree with bat and bird boxes.
In the spring and summer, butterflies such as brimstone, small skipper, small tortoiseshell and speckled wood
In the autumn, berries on the golden hornet and orchard fruit.