Priory Meadow, the Community Orchard and Tree Nursery

Nestled in between Priory Close and Priory Woods we have Priory Meadow, a pretty area purchased by the Parish Council in 1996 from Cambridgeshire County Council Farms.




Community Orchard

 In 2018, the University of East Anglia (UEA) History Department started a project to preserve the local varieties of fruit trees our ancestors used to be familiar with. It was found there were at least 250 local varieties of fruit trees that still existed in the seven counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex , Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Burwell Parish Council became aware of this and made Priory Meadow available to preserve some of these fruit trees. A team of volunteers did the planting in January 2019, with a helpful neighbour watering them throughout the year so that they could establish

As well as the existing three well-established walnut trees, we now have many varieties of these fruit trees - to date all have survived and we saw the first fruits in 2020. 

Fruit Trees in the Orchard


Birdseye view of Priory Meadow 


Location of Priory Meadow 

Burwell Community Tree Nursery

Burwell Community Tree Nursery

The community tree nursery is located alongside the community orchard in Priory Meadow, and is managed by Wild Burwell. Planting local trees and hedging is part of Wild Burwell’s aim to improve biodiversity in and around Burwell, and the tree nursery is where many of the trees will start their lives. There are a number of organisations that supply young trees for planting projects, but these ‘whips’ are small and vulnerable, and need to be protected with a plastic tube to prevent damage from deer and other animals when planted out. Unfortunately, the tubes restrict growth and limit the amount of sunlight that can reach the new leaves, making it a challenge for the trees to thrive at this early stage. The safe environment of the tree nursery will allow the whips to spend some time growing and maturing without a protective tube, so they stand a better chance of surviving once planted out in their permanent location.

To ensure a good supply of trees into the future, members of Wild Burwell, local childcare groups and people in the village are planting seeds, nuts and berries in the autumn, growing new trees from the ones already found in our local area. These young trees will also start their journey in the tree nursery before finding their home in our community.

The ‘community’ part of our tree nursery is very important to us – the trees are available, for free, for Burwell residents to plant in their gardens. We are also very happy to take in any young trees that have been growing somewhere unsuitable and are looking for a new home (sorry, no walnut, horse chestnut or sycamore please). Planting more trees in our village is part of Burwell Parish Council’s Climate Change Action Plan, because trees not only provide homes for our local wildlife, but also lock up carbon as they grow, helping us lower our local carbon footprint. Wild Burwell will be working with the Burwell Parish Council to plant trees in areas like the new Westhorpe play area and replacing lost hedging along the riverbank in Hatley Drive.

If you want to get involved in the work being done at the tree nursery, would like to take a tree home or drop one off, or know of land that might be a good site for a tree planting project, please do get in touch. Contact Derah at


Priory Wood

There is a footpath connecting Spring Close with Priory Wood. Priory Wood was created in the year 2000 by the Woodland Trust.

Any issues with Priory Wood should be reported to

The Woodland Trust