During the autumn of 2019 a team of volunteers, including members of  Derby Park Volunteers, Friends of Chellaston Brickworks LNR and local residents planted over 30 fruit trees in order to create the Chellaston Community Orchard.

It is situated at the Woodlands side of Pit Close recreation ground, adjacent to the Nature Reserve. Funding was allocated from a Section 106 grant awarded to the reserve and the area will be maintained by the ‘friends’ group.

There is a variety of different fruit trees, including both eating and cooking apples, pears, plums, cherries and medlar. Whilst it will be some time before the trees produce a good harvest it is hoped that within a few years local residents will be able to help themselves to an assortment of lovely, local grown fresh fruit.

We are all aware that planting trees helps the environment, this project will also provide free food, as someone commented:- “legal scrumping”.


In March 2022 a further 10 fruit trees were planted in the Community Orchard. They were all funded by local residents and several were planted as memorial trees. If you stroll around this section of the Orchard you can read the dedications on each tree surround, along with details of the variety of tree and harvesting information.

Later in the year, on a very cold and frosty morning in December, another 10 trees were planted in a further extension to the Orchard. As in March, all of the trees were funded by local residents, although this time the Chellaston Women’s Institute funded a Damson tree to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

As well as the ‘Friends’ group and members of Derby City Council Parks Department, several pupils from Chellaston Academy Environmental group helped to plant the trees and erect the timber surrounds. Although it was a chilly day everyone enjoyed themselves and the pupils certainly had the opportunity to
learn new skills.

Early in 2023, Chellaston Scouts chose and bought a cherry tree which was planted in the orchard on 5th January 2023, in place of one of the original trees that had unfortunately died.

At this point the Community Orchard boasted a total of 55 fruit trees. 22 varieties of Apple, 6 Plums, 7 Pears, 6 Cherries, 6 Damsons, 3 various Nut trees, 1 Greengage and a Medlar, which is a very ancient variety of fruit tree, with really unusual fruit.

Pruning Session 7 Feb 2024

A pruning expert, Jeff Bates, came to give the Friends instruction on how to prune the trees that were first planted in the orchard in 2019. Jeff is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and an Associate Member of the Professional Gardeners Guild. He started his long career as an Apprentice gardener at the Royal Gardens, Windsor Castle and eventually progressed to be a senior lecturer at various colleges. He has been self-employed in garden design, education and training since 1999 and is also a regional and national judge for the RHS in Bloom competition.

Jeff giving us instruction on how to prune an apple tree
A Pear tree before pruning…
…and after pruning
A Cherry tree before pruning …
… and after pruning.
An Apple tree before pruning …
… and after pruning.

Planting the Final Trees 14 Feb 2024

The volunteers, along with Derby Parks, members of Chellaston W.I. and members of the St. Peter’s Green Group planted the “final” 7 trees in the Community orchard, bringing the total number of trees to 62. The new tree varieties were:- 2 Apples, 2 Damsons, 1 Greengage and 2 Medlar. This brought the totals to :-

  • 24 Apples
  • 6 Plums
  • 8 Pear trees
  • 6 Cherries
  • 8 Damsons
  • 4 Nut trees
  • 1 Peach
  • 2 Greengage
  • 3 Medlar
Positioning a post
Knocking in the post
Adding the wire mesh surround
Adding the frame tops
Trimming the frame tops
The new row of trees