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Noakes Grove Newsletter - November 2018

New Season's Apple Juice

The first 150 bottles of this season's apple juice are now ready (with at least another 100 to press & bottle).

Until Christmas, apple juice will only be sold to "Friends of Walden Countryside" or Organic Countryside shareholders. Order yours while stocks last: a dozen 500 ml bottles for £24 with £3 (25p per bottle) refunded when you return your empties. Free delivery in Saffron Walden and Thaxted area.

Our apples all come from trees growing in Wimbish and neither the trees nor the orchard land are treated with any pesticides or other chemicals. The apples are cold-pressed and the juice pasteurised in the bottles. The juice is a blend from a great variety of apples including rare Essex varieties, desert & cyder apples.

There are no preservatives - it is apple-juice and nothing else. One bottle will give three people one of their "five-a-day".

Email your order to:

Volunteer Reunion and Task

Sunday 11th November  10am  to 3pm 

Noakes Grove, Redgates Lane, Sewards End,  Saffron Walden CB10 2LW. 

We are organising a second Volunteer Reunion Task to reconnect Conservation Volunteers. 

We meet to accomplish a task, renew old friendships and create new ones.  It is as much a social gathering as it is an event for completing useful conservation work. 

The site has overgrown scrub, ancient woodland and meadowland. We wish to return it to an area to young vigorously regenerating growth encouraging a range of wild flowers, butterflies and birds. 

What you will need to bring

Suitable clothing, hand tools, if you have them, and a packed lunch. There will be a big fire so foil wrapped potatoes for baking could make a welcome addition for lunch, we will provide hot drinks. 

It is very important to bring some good gloves for handling blackthorn and hawthorn that we will fell and burn.  

[but note: we do have a stock of leather gloves, hand saws and loppers for those who cannot bring their own]

Contact  Vyvyan Veal on 01799 520592 or e-mail




When finished, willow saplings will be planted around the toilet. As they grow they will absorb the extra nutrients from the soil and help the loo blend into the surrounding scrubland.


Tree Bog nearly finished

A rented mini-digger was put to good use rooting out blackthorn stumps and preparing the ground for the installation of our composting toilet. Fiver helpers at Noakes Grove, aged fron 11 to 74, tried their hands at digger-driving, . The speed with which they became competent was directly proportional to how young they were . Emma Horton's son Bernie was by far the best driver.

Digging by amateurs over, our professional builder moved in to create the structure itself. It should bring relief to Noakes Grove visitors for many years, without the need to use nasty chemicals or cleaning it out.




Volunteer Helpers' Christmas Event

Sunday 2nd December  10am  to 3pm 
(no need to attend the whole time, come when you can)

Noakes Grove, Redgates Lane, Sewards End,  Saffron Walden CB10 2LW. 

There will be a chance to do some conservation work (and play with our new tractor?) so come in suitable clothes. But mainly it is a social event for everyone who has done voluntary work for us during 2018. In particular we hope many of the members of the two "sheep teams" will be able to join us, as they do not normally meet the rest of their team, since each person or family group visits the sheep on a different day.

Bonfire-cooked lunches and drinks (including our apple-juice, mulled or normal) provided.


Scotch Patch road sign



Misleading Ellis Green Sign

Throughout the summer this sign on the B184 (Thaxted - Saffron Walden Road) said that the lane to Ellis Green Common Local Wildlife Site and Scotch Patch Orchard (where our apple juice grows) would be closed to wheeled traffic in winter.

This was completely untrue and, following our protests to Essex County Council, the sign has been removed to the place where it should have been in the first place: at the start of the protected green lane from Ellis Green Common to Lower House Farm. This lane is an important part of the wildlife site and it is good news that the gates which protect it from motor traffic will be locked this winter,

There is nothing to stop you driving as far as Ellis Green and parking beside the tarmac section of the lane. That is the best way of joning us for one of the Ellis Green Work Parties, or just to enjoy the common and surrounding network of footpaths.


Thursday 8th. November & Thursday 22nd. November

 2 - 4pm




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