Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

The Orchard

Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Our Vision for the Orchard

To be able to offer a facility for educational purposes, that support health & wellbeing, promotes wildlife and encouraged biodiversity but also one that can become sustainable through trading opportunities and income generation. 

To link in with other like-minded groups, share ideas and knowledge and to hold annual events such wassails.

Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

What we want to Achieve

Tredegar had been and industrial town since the late 1700’s after a long decline the steel works finally closed in 2001 and Tredegar became a post –industrial town and along with other post-industrial towns now suffering rising poverty and social exclusion. It is said that Tredegar is at the top of every league table you don’t want to be top of. Sirhowy Woodlands was the spoil tip for the Iron Works.

The reasons the group feels it is important to regenerate the area, to reclaim our green spaces which have become neglected and abused over a long period of time. The aim is to get people out and about and enjoying their green spaces. The area was a spoil tip, creating fecundity out of barrenness restoring it as best as possible to it previous form pre-industrialisation. A lot of money has been spent in the area, but our aim is to future proof it and promoting health and wellbeing.

Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

History of Orchards in Tredegar

Currently there are few, if any orchards in Blaenau Gwent as you can see from this map by Peoples Trust For Endangered Species who have surveyed England and Wales for orchards. The elevation of the area: 322 m (1056 ft).

Pre-industrialisation there were orchards in Tredegar, in Powells History of Tredegar he describes:

Previous to the beginning of the present century the district was inhabited by farmers and their shepherds, the hills clothed with trees on each side, ferns and flowers, in rich profusion, were growing everywhere. Farmhouses and pretty little orchards dotted the surface, whose inhabitants were congenial companions, sketches of which fill the mind with poetical associations, and carry us back to those ancient times when “Nature, in all her primitive grandeur”, reigned supreme.

Powells History of Tredegar

So to be able to put back in our small way an orchard in Tredegar is like restoring a little piece of history.

Orchard Management Plan

Over the 5 years, we aim to:

1st Year

Keep the immediate footprint of trees clear & Mulching of bases.

2nd Year

No chemical use, physical and mechanical weed suppressant.

3rd Year

Inspection of orchard- cutting out any deadwood

4th Year

Look for any faults in the trees, formative pruning.

5th, 6th & 7th Years

Cut and collect twice a year.

Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

The Community & The Orchard

The group would look to change people’s perception of the outside, this is a symptom of modern living with children and some adults stuck to their little screens, being outside in the fresh air is something that has been lost. In an area where healthy living agenda is very important and where it is high in all the league in all the lists you don’t want to be on. The creation of this community orchard fits in with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and is an opportunity to reintegrate with the outdoors into people’s lives and meet the health and wellbeing agenda.

List of Trees planted and by whom

Tree Number Variety Planted by
1 Viv’s Red John Morgan, Alyson Tippings and Rosie Richards
2 Llandinam Permain John Morgan, Alyson Tippings and Rosie Richards
3 Fredrick John Morgan, Alyson Tippings and Rosie Richards
4 Pendragon Gwynfor, Freya & Poppy Evans
5 Bardsdey Kai Murphy
6 Sams Crab Ellen Jones & Les
7 Llanachaeron Beauty Ellen Jones & Les
8 Bakers Delicious Ellen Jones & Les
9 Cadwallader Maisy Murphy & Sally Morgan
10 Old Chapel Discovery Cathy Johnson, Helen and Chloe Simmonds
11 Pengaled Cathy Johnson, Helen and Chloe Simmonds
12 Tretower Cats head Oriel Price
13 Pertheyre Sally Morgan & Maisy Murphy
14 Twylldyn Gwydd Chris & Freya Engle
15 Margoed Nicholas Ellen Jones & Chris
16 Pig yr Wyd Chris & Freya Engle
17 Painted Meadow Ellen Jones & Les
Flat area on a former steelworks site.

South facing

planted on poor ground of former spoil tip, large amounts of fertile soil was brought in to improve the site.
The site has potential for pollution as a brownfield site. Owners will have contaminated land report to confirm the site is now free of contaminants.
Blaenau Gwent County Council-Friends of Sirhowy Woodlands have a management agreement
Site currently has access via an earth road. No specific parking is available on site, disabled access could be achieved via paths but there are no paths in the orchard as yet, currently the only access is via a style.