RHSO Community Events

All RHSO events will be announced here, on our mailing list or on Twitter or Facebook. Alternatively, subscribe to our google calender (see below).

Upcoming Events

The next monthly maintenance day will be on Sunday May 12th, 10:30 am. Reports on recent maintenance days can be found here.

There will be no maintenance day on Sunday May 5th as we will be selling our apple juice at the Sawbridgeworth May Fayre

All events are added to the Google calender below which is shared publically. You can subscribe to this calender to keep yourself updated as to our events by following the instructions here and the username rhso1725@gmail.com. If asked for a service provider, use google.com.

Apple Day

Apple Day is our main community event in the year. People from the local area, and further afield, come to pick our apple crop. Pickers are allowed to taste our many apple varieties and take home some for themselves. The remaining crop will be juiced to be sold to raise funds for the group. In addition to apple picking, there are refreshments, juicing demonstrations, live music and displays about the history of the site. It is an excellent day out for the whole family!

Tools and picking instructions will be provided. We also need people to bake cakes and biscuits with an apple theme (we can provide some apples!), so please contact us if you are interested in helping.

Reports of previous apple days can be found here.


Wassail takes place every year in January (usually the evening of the 2nd Saturday). We have a bonfire using the wood pruned from the trees during the year and sing traditional wassail songs around the campfire. Refreshments (teas, coffees, apple juice, cider and cakes) are available.

A report of Wassail 2017 can be found here.

Maintenance days

We meet in the orchard on the first Sunday of every month between 10:30 and 12:30 to maintain the trees, hedges and the rest of the site.

No expertise is needed. All tools and insturction will be provided by the group members. Maintenance days are suitable for older children, but are usually unsuitable for younger children due to use of sharp tools and pruning heavy branches. Running of "family-friendly" maintenance days is currently under discussion.

On occasion, we run extra maintenance days on weekends. These will be added to the Google calender (above) and announced on this page, on our mailing list and on twitter and Facebook.

Currently, there are no planned extra maintenance days.

Reports of previous maintenance days can be found here but an approximate schedule of tasks through the year is as follows.

MonthTypical tasks
JanuaryNo maintenance, wassail on 2nd Saturday and volunteers needed to help set up and clear then
FebruaryApple and pear tree main pruning, ditch maintenance, Wassail fire clearence
MarchApple and pear tree main pruning
AprilSite tidying, caring for young trees (guards, membrane, grass removal), light pruning of cherry and plum trees**
May*Caring for young trees (guards, membrane, grass removal)
JuneCaring for young trees (guards, membrane, grass removal), tidying up heavily pruned trees
JulyMain pruning of cherry and plum trees, hedge maintenance
AugustMain pruning of cherry and plum trees, hedge maintenance, picking plums, cherries and pears
SeptemberPicking pears, plums and early apples, clearing grass from young trees in preparation for full cut.
OctoberPreparations for apple day, picking fruit to store for apple day
NovemberDead wood removal from apple and pear trees, hedge maintenance.
DecemberWassail preparations, apple and pear tree pruning, ditch maintenance

* May's maintenance day is often on the second Sunday to avoid a clash with the Sawbridgeworth May Fayre.

** Only prune the leaders of the cherry and plum trees once the buds have started to open.