It would be great to start planting the orchards this autumn/winter. One of the three orchard areas was cleared in September in preparation for harrowing and seeding. I have been told by the Environment Agency that there are restrictions on planting trees within 8m of the top of the riverbank unless we apply for land drainage consent, this limits the space we have within some of the tight bends of the river where two of the orchards are planned. An orchard is defined as a minimum of five trees together and the spacing of our trees will need to be 10m as they are on a standard rootstock (big trees!). Initially the plan is to plant whichever fruit trees are available and then fill in later with trees that are a rare species which will add to the biodiversity of the meadow.