435 years later we named our unique Dessert Pear Ice-wine after this local landmark!
Once everyone was assembled and ready to venture forth on our walk, Norman Stanier introduced everyone to the Once Upon A Tree team, and then to our guest speaker local Geologist, Nic Howes.
Nic gave a short talk and description of the geology of the ridge, and the mechanics of how the slip occurred, including an explanation of the accounts that saw “her low parts [the landslip] mounted to a hill of 12 fathoms” – not what you would expect from a landslide!
The walk, led by Norman, started from Putley Village Hall, walking through local farmland and orchards, passing the parish church, Putley Court, and onto Fortnams Orchard (one of the oldest family fruit farms in the area, and where many of the pears were sourced for “The Wonder”), Then onto the Wonder itself where the party divided, some taking in the walk over “Tumpy ground” and the base of the landslip, and others around the top of the landslip to see the remains of the chasm created when the land moved.
At hall end farm we saw what was suspected to be some of the quoins – cornerstones – that were taken from the remains of the chapel when the farm was being built. We returned to the hall via fields of sheep and lambs, and over small streams and muddy tracks & past the old mill.
At the hall, several bottles of “The Wonder” were opened and shared, along with pear juice for the younger members of the audience, and Simon Day revealed some of the secrets of its production!
Many of the visitors then retired to Dragon Orchard, where they enjoyed further tastings of cider and perry, and a chance to stock up on a few bottles!
Despite the dim, damp, cloudy conditions, everyone really enjoyed the event, from locals who were surprised to learn so much more about what is on their doorstep, to visitors to the area who enjoyed the wonderful scenery and flavours that were on offer.
We look forward to seeing some of the same faces at our next Herefordshire Year in the Orchard event on the 12th March – “History of Orcharding in Putley” led by Norman Stanier.