The full name for the Orchard is The Fairfield Millennium Green and Community Orchard, but as this is a bit of a mouthful, local people usually refer to it in a shortened form: ‘the Millennium Green’, ‘Fairfield Community Orchard’ ‘Fairfield Orchard’ or just ‘the Orchard’. It is a 2.2 acre site which contains:
- an orchard of fruit trees (apple, pear, cherry, damson, plum, greengage, medlar, crab apple)
- nut trees (hazel, walnut, chestnut)
- areas with other native trees and bushes
- an events circle which has a floral and fruiting hedge (soft fruit: blackberry, white currant, redcurrant, gooseberry, blueberry) round the circumference and our Millennium Oak tree in the centre.
The apple orchard has two trees of a wide number of varieties of apple, including two Keswick Codling and two Lancaster Ladies Finger trees, so it is very local as well as having only British trees.
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!
Who is the Orchard for?
It is there to enjoy for all: the local community and visitors to the area. But, just as important, it is also for the local flora and fauna. So please let nature do its thing, as undisturbed as you can, as well as enjoying a lovely area with great views.
As children play in the Orchard and school groups regularly visit it too, it is important that dog owners remove their dogs’ deposits. Please remove your litter too (there is a bin near the entrance and another at the end of Sunnyside Lane) and help us by picking up litter that others have dropped.
As the orchard is a community orchard, anyone can pick the fruit and nuts. Please let them ripen before picking though – otherwise no-one benefits from them. And please don’t take too many – we want everyone to be able to enjoy the fruit and nuts as well as the serenity and beauty of the orchard and the rest of the Millennium Green.
Anyone interested in the current state of orchards in England and the UK should follow the links below (links open in a new window):
BBC site regarding neglected state of England's orchards
People's Trust for Endangered Species - Orchard Survey