Mapledurham Playing Fields
Reading Old Cemetery
Mapledurham Playing Fields are located in Caversham Heights, just off Upper Woodcote Road. While much of the site is given over to sports facilities, there are areas of rough grassland with wild flower margins as well as a regenerated woodland consisting mainly of field maple, elm and oak. An ancient boundary bank is to be found at the woodland edge. In 2010 a community orchard was planted at the site.
The Friends of group was formed in 1999 and organise monthly tasks generally on the 3rd Saturday of the month from September until April, see Programme for further details.
This winter the focus of the Friends is to be on 'the old orchard' area.
Old Orchard is now an area of overgrown woodland at Chazey Road entrance to the Playing Fields, 75 years ago it is remembered as being an orchard with a horse or two grazing!
The woodland still contains many of the original apple trees together with other native trees and shrubs such as oak, ash, hawthorn, hazel, wild privet, spindle and elder togther with some less welcome invasives including sycamore, maple and ivy. It is crowded, it is dark, and there is little diversification of wildlife and the old apple trees are suffering.
It is the aim of the Friends to improve the health of these fruit tree veterans, giving them space and light by removing some of the less welcome residents. It will take a few years for them to recover and pruning will be necessary later. They are an attractive addition to the woodland, they are part of our history, they improve the diversity of wildlife, their blossom is great for a variety of pollinators (as well as being beautiful) and their fruit is available for all kinds of birds and mammals, so let's give them a chance to continue to benefit the site. Please come and help at the Friends next task.
Contact: Steve (0118) 947 3294 or 07777 681 362. Alternatively, please contact us via the Contacts page.
Where to find us: Google
Unless stated otherwise tasks are from 10:00 until 12:30. Meet in the community orchard located near the Chazey Road entrance. A summary of current planned activities follows, for full details please visit our Programme.
20th January 2024
10:00 - 13:00
Regular monthly task
No new activities planned in the current programme