The orchards surrounding the Centre are home to the National Collection of Perry Pears and also a collection of Gloucestershire apples, plums and cherries, all planted by Hartpury Heritage Trust since 2006. There are over 100 varieties of perry pear trees in the Orchards, all named. They are set in 30 acres of orchards and wetlands which are always open for the public to enjoy, and paths are mown through the orchard.
If the gates are closed, parking for the orchard is on hardstanding outside the main gate, and access is via kissing gates.
The orchards are grazed through the summer months by Ryeland sheep and Gloucester cattle.
Dogs on leads are welcome, provided the wildlife and animals are not disturbed.
At the entrance to the orchards is the Orchard Centre and outbuildings, with picnic tables on the Centre lawns.
Wildlife in the orchards includes hares, foxes, skylarks, buzzards, and many smaller birds such as finches, warblers, buntings and pipits along the old lane-side hedge. Ravens fly over frequently, and occasionally a red kite will be seen.
Owl boxes are placed around the orchard. The habitat also suits other species – mice, voles and a variety of insects. The Centre moth group meet regularly to identify and record the moths found.
The wetland and ponds have their own wildlife – including nesting swans some years.
All contributing to a wonderful Nature Reserve.
Visit the Hartpury Orchard Centre Facebook page for the latest news and updates.
Donations to support the work are always welcome, and can be given using Donate.