In the fifty years succeeding World War II, two thirds of traditional orchards disappeared. In 2000, the Millennium year, Hartley Wintney Parish Council established a Community Orchard at Hunts Common to recapture some of the traditional orchard functions; a place for the public to wander and meet, remember loved ones and to sustain old and dying-out varieties, traditional recipes and customs.
Originally designed to portray a history of cultivated English tree grown fruit from the Roman invasion to the present day, it has been developed to include a number of nuts and berried fruit native to this country and contains a number of varieties once peculiar to Hampshire and the South of England.
The Orchard restores Hunts Common to its role as an integral part of village life. Until the turn of the century it was the focus of village life, when on November 5th it was the venue for the annual bonfire, lit by tar barrels rolled from Phoenix Green. A month later, on December 4th, the Common was the site of an annual Cattle Fair when stock from as far away as Devon and Wales was brought to the village for sale; the fun fair, which accompanied the Cattle Fair, continued to use the site until the mid-sixties.
The Orchard provides the venue for several events run by the Parish Council throughout the year: Wassail Night, Apple Day and the Village Picnic.
The Orchard was renamed in memory of the late Parish Clerk Patrick Vaughan in January 2009 and a tree has been planted on the site in recognition of his contribution to the village and his work on this project.
This information booklet will give you more information about the Vaughan Millennium Orchard.
Our Events page will give you further details on the events that Parish Council runs throughout the year.