The Community Orchard is located at the Odell end of the Park. Follow the carved sign just inside the gate along the grass footpath which passes in front of the houses. Turns sharp right before the arable field. This is the only right of way to the orchard.
The orchard was started in 2010 and was planted by Park staff, volunteers from the Friends and the Probation Service. It is planted with varieties of apple, pear and plum that wee grown in Bedfordshire in the past. The map provides a guide to the planting. An Information Board is currently being designed that will be placed at the entrance to the orchard in due course.
Key to Map of Community Orchard
A – Apples C – Cherry N – Nuts M – Medlar PR – Pear
PL – Plum Q - Quince
Started in June 2014, this involved the Bedfordshire Bat Group installing 10 bat boxes in the park. Each has been located in a carefully selected location where disruption will be low and where they do not interfere with our conservation programme. The bat boxes are made of concrette and sawdust and are very durable:
September 2014 - first signs of occupation found in three boxes.
The Friends of the Park started to invest in bee hives around 2011. Currently we have half-shares in ten hives located on the island in Grebe Lake and off site. This is an on-going project that it is hoped that it will turn into a revenue earner.
The Friends of HOCP started planting bluebells in the Shelter Belt in 2012 as the first steps into a 10-year project to create a bluebell wood. So far, two thousand bulbs have been planted butdisappointingly few having grown. Possible reasons are (1) that there is strong competition from cow parsley and (2) mistiming of planting. This is a very labour-intensive project that relies on volunteers to undertake back-breaking work. It has been agreed that we will reduce the number of bulbs plantedin 2014/15 and experiment with cutting back the cow parsley in selected areas and planting in other locations.