Several years of intensive work by experts and volunteers have seen our cherished orchards go from overgrown and unkempt wildernesses to well managed sites that have gained admiration from experts in the field.
One of the main aims of the restoration was to make the orchards educational, not just for children but for adults as well. As part of the Etonbury Green Wheel project, and using monies assigned to public art, the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC), with input from CBC and groups at Fairfield, has now developed information boards and a nature trail. There will also be a seat in each orchard with various tree identifications on the slats.
The guiding light behind the nature trail is Wendy Briggs, a freelance artist who works across a wide variety of media, often on a large scale. She has created a large number of installations for public art commissions throughout the country, and two notable pieces in Fairfield. Her leaf-inspired ‘History of Fairfield’ mural adorns the folding doors in the Community Hall, and her ‘Time Sticks’ sundial, representing the passage of time and growth, stands in front of Fairfield Park Lower School.
The Orchard Trail, after being presented to the community at the Annual Parish Meeting on 28 March, is to be installed in the orchards this spring.