Ashmeadow is a small remnant orchard of about 36 trees within the 5 acre Ashmeadow Woodlands at Arnside on the south bank of the Kent estuary. It is owned by the Barnes Charitable Trust, which was set up in 1990 to manage the Ashmeadow estate in the interests of the environment, the local community and visitors. The orchard is mostly apples, with a few pear, plum and walnut trees of ages ranging from newly planted up to over 50yrs old. Phil Rainford’s research shows that orchards have been grown at Ashmeadow for over two centuries. It was described as “a remarkable orchard for bearing well” in the 1770 Beetham Repository, while the Cumberland & Westmorland Gazeteer of 1829 said “the plantations about Ashmeadow are in a thriving condition and the fruit trees extremely luxuriant”. (See “Orchards of the Arnside & Silverdale AONB” price £3). The current varieties and rootstock identities have been mislaid but the trustees hope to retrieve them from their records. The trees are unsprayed and receive no fertiliser but are in reasonable condition except for some canker and scab. The orchard floor is grass with wild daffodils and lesser celandine. The grass is mown and the trees enjoy a sunny yet sheltered situation. Some of the older trees have been overgrown by brambles and ivy in the past but volunteers from the Arnside & Silverdale AONB have progressively cleared the site. Access is via a public footpath from Silverdale Road which runs through the orchard and continues through the entire woodland area. Beyond the orchard is a substantial walled garden. The far end contains some allotments but most of it is managed as a wild flower meadow, containing orchids, poppies, cranesbill, knapweed, ox-eye daisy & self-heal. Lower down the hill is another old orchard of about 8 trees. Visitors are encouraged to pick the fruit in season. If you happen to be in or near Arnside and have some time to spare, Ashmeadow Woodlands and orchard are both worth a visit as a round tour from the Promenade following the paths shown on the plan page of the website. There are several information boards to guide you round the woodlands, and to explain each area. Directions: Leaving Arnside Promenade, go 200yds up Silverdale Road. Just before Redhills Road a pedestrian gate on the right with public footpath sign gives access to the orchard (just above Ash Meadow Lodge and opposite High Bank). The woodlands can also be entered by public footpaths from the western end of the Promenade which lead to the orchard. Entry is free at all times.