WEN Abundance – Pesky parakeets pinch our apples!

Indian parakeets

Indian ring-necked parakeets – possible apple-eating culprits

There are all sorts of theories about how these Indian Ring-Necked parakeets came to this country – from escaping off the set of The African Queen being filmed at Shepperton Studios in 1951 to Jimi Hendrix releasing them in Carnaby Street in the 1960s. In the last few years their distinctive screeching has been a common sound and we’ve seen some in our back garden.  They love to perch right at the top of trees even when the flimsy twigs there barely seem strong enough to hold their weight. However, this year it seems they have taken a fancy to apples.

When we last visited the community orchard there looked to be a decent apple crop. When we went back to start picking we wondered where all the apples had gone? Gone to the parakeets is where they’ve gone. The owner of April Cottage next door to the orchard told us that he has seen parakeets eating the apples this year. They sit right at the top and work their way down. All part of living with nature I guess. Still, we hope to find enough apples from other trees to send some batches off for pressing in to apple juice.

We’re always keen to hear from people who want to volunteer to help with Abundance or who have surplus fruit they’re keen to see put to good use. Whichever it is you can contact us at wenabundance@gmail.com
And watch out for our stall at the SoundBite Festival in Dean Gardens on Saturday 13th September where we’ll have elderflower cordial, apple juice and chutneys on sale – all handmade from local produce.


One Reply to “WEN Abundance – Pesky parakeets pinch our apples!”

  1. A bit of a story, but my great-great-grandmother Fanny Peachey brought a couple of parrots with her to England from Sydney in 1878. She had emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand, from Gloucestershire, with my great-great-grandfather Tola Peachey in 1873, arriving at 7am on New Year’s Day, 1874. Sadly, Tola was killed as a result of an accident in 1877 and, after staying with her brother John Richmond in Sydney – and giving birth to Tola’s last child – Fanny returned to England. In 1934, when she was 84, she wrote a few pages about her life which included the following:

    ‘We were 114 days getting home and did not stop anywhere, arrived in London and no one to meet me they had all given us up. No telephone or telegraph used in those days. I took a cab and drove eleven miles through London to catch the train to Cheltenham arriving at the Great Western Station to find the train had left a quarter hour. I did not know what to do. The porter told me that I could stay at the station until the midnight train which I could not do with a baby and two others, Bert not yet four and Annie thirteen months younger. The porter offered to find us lodgings for the night and helped me there with my three babies, two parrots I was taking home to my mother and an old carpet bag which contained with other things £100 in sovereigns and numerous bundles.’

    Whenever I see the green parrots in the parks and gardens of Ealing, I wonder what types of parrots my great-grandmother brought over here. I also wonder whether she, along with my great-grandmother Annie could have spent time at the Great Western Station in Ealing – but maybe it was Paddington or Chiswick. Regardless, Fanny returned to Tewkesbury, soon remarried and then returned to New Zealand with her second husband, Frederick Selwyn, with whom she had eight children. She died aged 97, in 1948.

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