The Parish Council bought Ide Community Orchard from the Church Commissioners in April 2022 following a five year period of negotiation and fund raising. Half the purchase price was raised by subscriptions from the Community and sponsorship of trees, and the rest of the money came from a grant from Viridor Credits Environmental Company. The Orchard also received a grant from the Royal Horticultural Society to buy owl and dormouse nesting boxes, a gate, tree guards, a shed and a dog waste bin.
The three and a half acre site is of historical importance as a surviving post medieval orchard; and has been repopulated with seventy new trees. It is open daily from dawn to dusk for walking and reflection and has a number of picnic tables from which to enjoy the view and the tranquillity. The orchard is very popular and well used.
The Management Group, a subcommittee of the Parish Council, oversees the use, development and maintenance of the Orchard. Guidelines for its use are simple, pragmatic and similar to those for Weir Meadow and The Northern Fields, with barbecues, fires, vehicles, bikes and professional dog walking not permitted.
Volunteer days take place throughout the year, focusing on bulb planting, apple harvesting and maintenance work. There will be a Wassail in 2023 and juice making later in the year.
The entrance to the Community Orchard is opposite and just up the hill from the village car park, beyond the Poachers pub.
Chair Ide Community Orchard Management Group