Shipton Gorge Ltd came into existence in 2006 with a view to manage and protect assets within the parish of Shipton Gorge so that they remain under the common ownership of residents and are managed for the benefit of the residents and according to their wishes. In 2007 it became a registered charity (No 1121571) and subsequently its name was changed to Shipton Gorge Heritage to reflect its purpose.
In 2006 there was a move to purchase land below the church and to reinstate it as an orchard, which historically it had once been. This was achieved through fund raising, donations and loans and now we are fortunate to have an Orchard which is getting more mature and productive. Old varieties of apple trees including cider apple trees have been planted, and villagers can now savour the different apples and medlars as they ripen.
The Orchard when newly planted
Apart from the Orchard, Shipton Gorge Heritage has a 999 year lease for the Saunders Richardson Wood. The Wood was bequeathed to the Woodland Trust some 30 years ago with the stipulation of it being kept as a wildlife haven, with a covenant limiting access. With the Woodland Trust changing its focus it wanted to lease small woods such as the Saunders Richardson Wood to suitable local organisations and after much protracted negotiation Shipton Gorge Heritage signed the lease in December 2012. Access to the Wood is limited to members of Shipton Gorge Heritage for specific purposes. As our ownership of this very neglected 2.72 acre (1.1 hectacre) wood is in its infancy it is an exciting project which will keep us busy for many years to come.
Environmental Champions Award won by Shipton Gorge Heritage in 2014
The Orchard in 2014 showing how the trees have developed
We would be delighted if you join this village organisation and you will be pleased to know there is no membership fee, but donations are most welcome. By joining you will be able to get involved in any way that you may wish in our two different projects be it by actively assisting in the Wood and/or Orchard by, for example, becoming a steward or taking part in any maintenance. We would also welcome suggestions and assistance for fund raising activities. Above all membership alone will give support to our village charity.
For further information please contact Hilary Cunningham, Chair, on 897928 or Mary Boughton, Secretary on 897958 or visit our website: http://www.shiptongorgeheritage.org.uk