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Back to nature

As children head back to school, the orchard gets back to nature...

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September is a wonderful month in the orchard. Boughs laden with swelling fruit bow over the grass pathways, and, especially after rainfall, the sweet scent of ripening apples fills the nostrils. If you're lucky, you may still find some fat blackberries hiding in the hedgerow, and you'll certainly see that the blackthorn is peppered with juicy sloes waiting to feed the birds through the winter (or flavour Christmas gin...).

It's also the month the orchard begins to gather itself in for its winter rest. Soon the apples will be harvested, and the boughs will straighten. The whooping and laughter of children running through the trees and pushing each other in wheelbarrows becomes rarer now as school beckons. Birds begin to reclaim their space, and bats can be seen more easily with the earlier dusk.

But there's still a little time left to come and enjoy this peaceful haven before we hand it back to nature for a few months. You can stay in our gypsy wagon, yurt, bell tent or tipi during the last week of August, so book now if you want to camp with the kids before school starts. If you're looking for a peaceful break away from children there are week nights free throughout most of September (and shh! there's even one weekend!).

We'll be packing everything up at the end of September, picking and juicing the apples and giving everything a lick of paint. After some wind, rain and maybe snow we'll be back when the orchard begins to wake up, in spring.

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