Community Orchard

On 1st December many villagers helped to plant 35 heritage apple trees for the Yarnton Community Orchard.

Each tree has been generously sponsored by a member of the village to mark a local family connection, commemorate a lost loved one or to just be part of something historic in the village.

It was a cold, rainy morning but volunteers soon got quite warm digging, planting and knocking in stakes.  It took about 5 hours of solid work but it was fun and we achieved a lot.  Some local children also got involved along with older residents who couldn’t physically dig but supervised some of the planting and had a lovely morning chatting. 

It’s been a year long journey to get the orchard project completed, fully supported by the Parish Council along the way.  The chosen area had to be assessed for any services pipework or cabling that may run under the land.  We then got in touch with Andy Howard, an Oxfordshire apple tree expert, who surveyed and mapped the area and put together a collection of suitable heritage tree varieties.

Yarnton has traditionally been known for its apple trees so we wanted to have a variety of local species that could be juiced, cooked, stored and eaten!  Some of the trees are quite rare and slowly making a comeback, helped by projects like this. 

In our orchard we have varieties such as Autumn Pearmain, Reinette Rouge Etoile and Monarch to name just a few.   Village residents old and new were invited to sponsor a tree on a first come first served basis, and organisers were overwhelmed with offers.

It's hoped the orchard will be enjoyed by all generations to come. It should become a place for family picnics or simply walking through to enjoy a few moments peace amongst the trees.  We also hope to add some benches in the future, along with bat boxes.

We also want to bring the village together for Apple Day which is held in October  The apples are there for all the village to enjoy and eat, surplus will be collected for groups such as the school, the weekly lunch club and any other groups who come forward.  If we’re lucky the WI might provide us with some unusual apple recipes! 
Orchards are also vital for wildlife as they provide pollen for the bees and insects which attract birds and bats.  Any windfall apples will be eaten by hedgehogs, worms and ground insects as well as helping to nourish the soil around each tree.  

Native wildlife in the UK is in serious decline due to loss of habitat so we hope this area will eventually provide a refuge for these vital insects and mammals but also for us when we walk through and linger to enjoy the blossom on a sunny day.
This day was a great team effort and a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all who helped and got mucky.  You made this a very special and memorable event.
We hope to have an official opening early next year and i
f you wish to be a member of the Yarnton Orchard Committee please contact Fiona on 07779 268836.

Thank you to all individuals and organisations that sponsored trees in the orchard including:

Graham and Yvonne Thompson, Eve and Fred Jones, Kim Overbeck, Shirley and Eddie Christiansen, David and Fiona Brimson, Janine and Carl Williams, Mary Clarke, The Isles family, Whitley family, Family Johnston, Kim Williams, Renee Charlett, The Wickham-Jones family,  Emily, Georgia and Owen Shewry, Ann Wyatt, Jackie Carpenter, Julie and Graham Hillsdon, Robin Hearn, Colin Clark and Hilary Palmer, George and Susan Doucas, Thorpe family,  My Bathrooms, Village News Committee, British Legion, Sanctuary Nursing Home, Parable Garden, Yarnton Women’s Institute. Yarnton Gardening Club, Yarnton Playing Fields.


Yarnton History - Sophia Jane Lay, nee Hastings

Take a look in the Stories subsection of Yarnton Village for fascinating images and information about Sophia Jane Lay, who died in August 1972, and who lived at one time at Windmill Hill Farm in Yarnton.  These were sent by her grandson Terry Pearson.



Rogue Trade warning from Thames Valley Police

Today there has been a report of a suspicious male and vehicle in the Yarnton area in Kidlington. This male was driving around in a white truck with equipment in the back handing out leaflets advertising his company. His company is called Oakland's Tree Services and also known as Oakland's Tree Care. The male was recognised by a resident for being on Watchdog. There was a case on him by Watchdog who followed him around and found out he was preying on vulnerable and elderly people by offering his services to them. In the report he had given false advice, over charged by four times the normal amount, not finishing jobs and scamming innocent people for their money. This happened in 2013 however it seems like there is intelligence that he has returned. Please be wary and pass this information on to other neighbours. He matches the same description as a Jason Butcher, he is a 35 year old white male, stocky build, short black hair, no glasses, no facial hair and was wearing jean and a t-shirt. If you see this male please contact police via 101 straight away. 

Hayley Keeping (Police, PCSO, Kidlington)



The custom of residents volunteering their services for the benefit of others in Yarnton has long been maintained, and envied by surrounding villages. Our village has a number of organisations that rely solely on voluntary participation for their organisation and management to ensure continuity for the future. Many existing volunteers are themselves elderly and finding it difficult to maintain their involvement. Unfortunately a number of these organisations are experiencing difficulty in attracting volunteers, to the point where their future is in grave doubt. Below is a list of Yarnton organisations with contact details that are looking to recruit new volunteers:

Surgery/Hospital transport - Mick Teeling - 01865  376801

Fortnightly Shopping Bus - Fred Jones - 01865  373871

Yarnton Lunch Club - David Poulton - 01865  374158

Yarnton Seniors Club - Jose Green  - 01865  375644

Yarnton Village News Delivery - Frances Peck - 01865 374708

Yarnton Women's Institute - Ruth Astall - 01865 372637

Yarnton Gardening Club - Ruth Astall - 01865 372637

Yarnton Care Committee - Bernie Connors - 01865 372944

All of these organisations exist for the benefit of Yarnton residents and contribute enormously to the well-being of our more elderly in particular. Some voluntary involvement can be for as little as perhaps one hour per month but is vital to the bigger picture. Time is precious to us all but spending just a small amount of time for our community cannot be better spent.

Please consider how you could possibly help to maintain these vital services.

Any time that you could contribute would be greatly appreciated by your community.

Further information can be obtained from the contact details above.


Yarnton Parish Council