About us

We are a group of volunteers that care for and organise events on the Headless Cross Community Orchard.
Headless Cross Community Orchard has preserved Headless Cross Green as a leisure space, by local volunteers planting Worcestershire varieties of fruit trees.
These include:
  • Redditch Doddin Apple       
  • Tupstones Apple
  • King Coffee Apple
  • Pitmaston Pineapple Apple
  • Chatley's Kernel Apple
  • Handwell Souring Apple
  • Worcester Permain Apple
  • Catshead Apple
  • Worcestershire Black Pear
  • Pitmaston Duchess Pear
  • Pershore Purple Plum
  • Yellow Eye Plum

We have worked with local schools and community groups towards creating a wildflower meadow in and around the orchard. We have also worked with students from Alcester Grammar Sixth Form to plant a bee friendly garden.

In conjunction with Redditch Round Table, Transition Redditch and the pupils of Walkwood Middle School and St.Luke's CE First School, we have helped to plant further orchards in Morton Stanley Park, Foxlydiate Wood and The Abbey Stadium.

We host three events each year; Wassail in January, May Fayre on May Day and Apple Day at the beginning of October.

 

History of The Green

Originally there was a row of shops and houses along Birchfield Road and Evesham Road where the orchard now stands, with a grocers on the corner nearest the mini island.
These buildings were demolished in the 1970's to  make way for the new road 'Headless Cross Drive' which joined Birchfild Road to what is now Coldfield Drive. The land was left derelict and in 1998 it was proposed by Redditch Borough Council to build houses upon it. 
A campaign was started by local councillors and residents to save the Green and the proposal was defeated.
Although the local council mowed the grass, a central thicket of brambles grew bigger annually, making the site an eye-sore as well as a magnet for litter, so in 2009 it was suggested that the area could be used by the community by introducing an orchard. Permission was given by Redditch Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council Countryside Services assisted with advice and practical help. They suggested that the orchard should feature  predominantly Worcestershire varieties of fruit trees and a suggestion came from within the community that native wildflowers could be encouraged to grow amongst the trees.
Following a publicity campaign, a group of volunteers was formed and work began on clearing up the site; removing brambles and clearing up the rubbish that had accumulated therein. Redditch Borough Council donated two sacks of daffodil bulbs which were planted on the green by local schoolchildren. Initially, in the winter of 2009/10, twenty trees were planted, sponsored by local businesses and individual residents, other trees have been planted subsequently. 
In 2012 an application was submitted to gain 'Fields in Trust' status for the orchard, preserving it for future generations, this has now been granted (see below) and the Headless Cross Community Orchard is now a permanent local attraction! 

Orchard Bench

The Orchard Bench

In 2014 the Orchard Group were granted permission to site a bench on the orchard adjacent to Evesham Road. The bench was to act as a ‘sign’, advertising the orchard to the passing traffic. Local craftsmen Scott Hemming and Adam Butler were commissioned to make the bench which was made using locally sourced oak cut from a single tree. The writing on the back was CNC routed by local company Maxwell Jones Ltd. The bench was finally sited on the orchard in March 2015.


 

Fields In Trust

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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