Cross O'Cliff Orchard, Lincoln

Lincolnshire is not renowned for its orchards but Lincolnshire County Council’s Cross O’Cliff Orchard, at a little under 2 hectares and at least one hundred and fifty years old is one of the largest that now remain. There are many old varieties of pear with wonderful names such as Louise Bonne de Jersey, Hessle and Pitman Duchess and many Lincolnshire apple varieties including Allington Pippin and Peasgood’s Nonesuch.

After nearly half a century of neglect restoration started in 1995.  Specialist fruit tree and wildlife surveys were undertaken and a restoration plan developed. 

Ten years on and a great deal has been achieved.

  • The orchard has been designated a Local Nature Reserve with the assistance of a Wildspace! Grant from English Nature.
  • Surviving trees are regularly pruned.
  • Traditional varieties have been replanted.

In addition to the rich variety of fruit trees, the orchard is a haven for wildlife. 

  • Old trees and dead wood provide ideal conditions for insects and beetles. 
  • Wildflowers, fruit blossom and warm grassy areas support butterflies such as Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell and Gatekeeper.
  • Birds such as Long Tailed Tit, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and Sparrow Hawk can also be frequently seen.

The Orchard is open to the public. The entrance is on Cross O’Cliff Hill one hundred metres south of the Lincoln School of Science and Technology.

Local volunteers have played an important role in the orchard’s restoration.  Members of the Cross O‘Cliff Area Residents Group regularly meet to assist with ongoing management work such as tree planting and pruning, hedge laying and meadow mowing.

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Last updated: 28 January 2014

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