The Peace Oak Orchard is a two acre piece of land in the centre of Eynsham which was donated two years ago to a newly formed charity whose purpose is to create an orchard, shared growing plots and quiet spaces for the benefit of the community and to preserve the beautiful site In perpetuity.
We have planted 30 apple trees most of them Eynsham varieties, and we are grafting more. Our 50 yard edible hedge has plums, damsons, cherries, blackberries. We have extended the shared growing space to introduce new growers with manageable raised beds and are starting a wild flower area. This year we planted some vines and some willow.
We now have over 100 Members (£8 a year of an individual or £10 for a family). This income helps to look after the site... tree guards, tools, compost loo etc. Members can visit the field at any time, and it is already much valued by individuals as a beautiful tranquil place. Members are fully involved in the development of the orchard, joining working parties and enjoying our social events. A highlight is the Wassailing event in January, with Eynsham Morris and Eynsham Community Choir and a rowdy crowd serenading the trees and enticing the good spirits with mulled cider to ensure a good harvest! We celebrate Easter with a treasure hunt and barbecue. Our shared picnic at Midsummer included a coconut shy, willow working music and games.
The name Peace Oak Association comes from a huge Oak tree which was planted in 1919 to celebrate the first anniversary of the armistice. In 2019 we celebrated the centenary of the Oak and hope that others will see future centenaries.
We have links with Farmability, a charity working with young adults with learning difficulties based in Wytham and they bring their co-farmers to share our space, working alongside volunteers. Eynsham Scouts helped to build our compost loo and the Eynsham Guides and Brownies use our site regularly. We have also teamed up with Nature Recovery on a number of projects and will continue to encourage the biodiversity of the site. Our members join regular working parties, and are learning the skills of grafting, pruning and tree care.