Apple Weekend 1st & 2nd October

With our Heritage apple harvest well underway we had crates and crates of apples, sorted, labelled and needing to be organised and displayed in our barn ready for Apple Weekend. Our Friday afternoon job.

Where to start?
Photo by Su Haselton


Nearly there!
Photo by Su Haselton

Soon we had most things sorted and just needing the final finishing touches to be ready for the Saturday morning visitors

At last we were open to the public, hoping for good weather and a brisk trade in apples and our pure apple juice.

Roger Blaxall from Ormskirk qlocal came and took various photos for an article some of which are shown here.

Just some of the apples for sale
Photo by Roger Blaxall Ormskirk qlocal

Barn ready for sales
Photo by Roger Blaxall Ormskirk qlocal

Our Cabin cafe was well stocked with delicious cakes and plentiful supplies of tea and coffee (as well as apple juice) and information about our Heritage Orchard was on display

Information Board in the cafe
Photo by Roger Blaxall Ormskirk qlocal

As a demonstration we had a small apple press set up and our very noisy ‘grinding/chopping’ machine cut up the washed apples ready to be pressed.

Apple juicing demo
Photo by Roger Blaxall Ormskirk qlocal

The freshly squeezed apple juice was handed around to our visitors to try and of course bottles of our juice were on sale.

Orchard Tour
photo by Su Haselton

There were 4 tours of our Heritage Orchard each day where the history of the orchard and the different apple varieties were explained as well as growing and pruning advice.  Visitors were then free to wander and look at the different trees and ask questions.

Overall a very busy couple of days

sales area getting busy
Photo by Roger Blaxall Ormskirk qlocal

We thank all our volunteer helpers who worked so hard to make the weekend a success and we also thank all the visitors who came to support us and we hope to see you again soon.

Don’t forget we have our pure apple juice on sale all year and for a limited time there will still be apples to buy



Haymaking and a glorious sunset backdrop.

Our wonderful wildflower meadows are of course hay meadows and now that most of the wildflower seeds have set and there is a dry weather ‘window’ haymaking is well underway.  Meadows have to be cut, the ‘hay grass’ flicked to aid drying and dispersal of seed, the hay has to be baled (we sell our small bale hay), loaded onto trailers, transported to the barn and then stacked.

Here are images taken on 9 August – haymaking with a glorious sunset as a backdrop!

Hay bales ready for loading
Photo by Stephen Reid

Loading the trailer
Photo by Stephen Reid

Glorious Sunset
Photo by Stephen Reid

Haymaking as the sun sets
Photo by Stephen Reid

Sun going down
Photo by Stephen Reid

Sun setting over the Lancashire Plain Photo by Stephen Reid


Stacking hay bales in the barn photo by Florence



A glorious day for our National Garden Scheme Open Day on 10th July.

The weather was hot and sunny with clear blue skies and our butterflies, especially Meadow Browns, were out in abundance.  Our team of volunteers were ready to greet our visitors and our Cabin Cafe (with optional tables in the cool of our barn) was ready to serve refreshments.

Jan and Whitney
Photo by Florence

As last year we opened our wildflower meadow and Cabin Wood under the National Garden Scheme as a joint opening with the wonderful gardens of Brian and Marian Jones in Ludlow Drive in Ormskirk; completely contrasting gardens but both offering a very warm welcome.

Image in Image
Photo by Florence


Wildflowers with a View
Photo by Su Haselton

On the Boardwalk Photo by Su Haselton

All admission money taken at Gorse Hill was for the National Garden Scheme supporting it’s work for NHS charities.

We thank all our visitors and especially our volunteers for making it such an enjoyable and worthwhile day.




Blossom and Bluebell Sunday and Moth and Newt Night. 

Despite the morning drizzle the afternoon of Sunday 1 May stayed dry for our Blossom and Bluebell walk.

We were greeted at the entrance to Bluebell Wood with our Crab Apples in full blossom

Crab Apple entrance to Willowbank Wood
Photo by Su Haselton

Bluebell Wood certainly lived up to its name with our English Bluebells in full flower

Bluebell Walk
Photo by Su Haselton

Bluebell Carpet Photo by Su Haselton

Our walk finished in our Heritage Orchard where some of our apple blossom was putting on a show

Apple Blossom
Photo by Su Haselton

11 June was our evening of wildlife.  Watching newts and other pond life by torchlight and attracting moths to our traps in the darkness is always a magical experience.  Seldom Pond had been ‘raked’ during the day to create space in the duckweed so that our visitors could watch the newts (Smooth, Palmate and Great-crested) rise to the surface for a gulp of air and descend back into the depths.

We had 2 moth traps running; our big mercury vapour 125 trap by Seldom Pond and a blacklight trap further into the wood.  In a short space of time we trapped 18 different species of moths:

Scorched Wing (our last record of this species was in 2015), Brimstone, Flame Shoulder, Silver-ground Carpet, Ingrailed Clay, Middle-barred Minor, Large Yellow Underwing, Straw Dot, Green Silver-lines (last recorded in 2015), Motled Beauty, Treble Lines, Common Swift, Clouded Silver, Small Fan-foot, Small Clouded Brindle, Common Carpet, Small Square-spot and Agapeta hamana (micro moth).

Common Swift Hepialus lupulinus Photo by Su Haselton

Scorched Wing Plagodis dolabraria
Photo by Su Haselton

Green Silver-lines pseudoips prasinana
Photo by Su Haselton

Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata Photo by Su Haselton




Wonderful videos and our Cabin gets an update.

Our Cabin refurbishment is underway
photo by Su Haselton

Our Cabin was in need of a fresh look so Peter set to with a new colour scheme and paint!

Peter painting the Cabin
photo by Su Haselton

If you come to our Blossom and Bluebell Day on Sunday 1st May you should see (hopefully) the result of all Peter’s hard work!

Kate has been taking videos whilst out and about filling the bird feeders across the Reserve:























Snowdrop Sunday.  

We were able to hold our Snowdrop Sunday event this year on 13th February.  The weather forecast was pretty grim but, whilst the sun did not shine, fortunately we did not get the torrential rain and high winds promised and visitor numbers steadily grew throughout the afternoon.

Our new Sales and Information Centre was ready for visitors

Cake for sale in the café
Photo by Su Haselton

Our Cabin Café did a very good trade and we had to have additional tables set out in our barn!

Snowdrop display in the car park
Photo by Su Haselton

The Snowdrop display in the car park was a taster of the show to come

Visitors enjoying the Snowdrop walk
Photo by Su Haselton

Snowdrop display in Cabin Wood
Photo by Su Haselton

Snowdrop walk in Cabin Wood
Photo by Su Haselton

Visitors finishing their walk
Photo by Su Haselton

Despite the weather forecast we had over 120 visitors during the afternoon.  Thank you to everyone who came and to our band of volunteers who helped on the day.


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