Taste & Explore has a new base in the pleasant rural setting of Hartpury, Gloucestershire - The Orchard Centre, which opened in early Autumn 2008. In addition the popular courses and other activities will continue to be run in Somerset.
The attractive oak framed Orchard Centre at Hartpury acts as a visitor information point, as well as a unique specialist centre for training in the production of cider, perry, juice and orchard fruit-based products. It will also become a venue for other events and activities, including country markets, tutored tastings, activity weekends, and the traditional fun of “Wassails”.
The Orchard Centre - Forthcoming Events in 2011
A country festival - “An Orchard in Springtime” is planned for Saturday 21st May. An Autumn Festival is being planned for 17th/18th September. For further details please click through to the Events Page.
Sustaining the Environment
The Orchard Centre, together with the surrounding Hartpury Perry Park will, as it develops, provide a model of best practice in local food and drink production, traditional orchard and wetland management, conservation, sustainable development and environmental protection. This will be developed through features such as photovoltaic tiles for energy supply, carbon-neutral production, water harvesting facilities, and a reedbed-based greywater purification scheme.
The Hartpury Perry Pear Orchards
The perry orchards, which form the Hartpury National Collection of Perry Pears, contain over 100 varieties of newly planted traditional perry pears. It lies beside an ancient track thought to be of pre-roman origin, and once a main route between Gloucester and Hereford.
You can join a specialist in the field to learn orchard management, fruit identification, or how to make perry, cider, fruit juice and country wine... or just enjoy a wander through the pear, apple and plum trees on a self-guided orchard trail.
The Wetlands & Haymeadow
The restoration of the ancient wetland meadows in the Perry Park will add to the existing ecological diversity - attracting wintering wildfowl, waders and breeding warblers. Local wetland wildlife will include water voles, amphibians, grass snakes and invertebrates, especially dragon flies and damselflies. Managing the surrounding land as haymeadow will increase the floral variety and thus provide a habitat for a diverse range of birds, insects and animals.
You can therefore spend some time exploring and learning about wetland management, developing practical conservation skills, or following a wetland and haymeadow trail to see how many species of birds, insects and other wildlife you can identify.
An exciting discovery has been made - otters are regular visitors, spraint was found around many of the ponds and as well as a farily well used track from an adjacent brook - believed to be the first in the area.
Barn Owls nested nearby, and owl boxes are being provided.
For directions and a map to the Orchard Centre please click here
For the History of Orchards and Perry Production in Gloucestershire please click here
For information about our partners please click here