The origin of the allotment movement in Chinnor lies within the second allotment movement which started nationally in 1830, but has sustained its influence on Chinnor’s nutrition and health until the present day.
Jeremy Burchardt has suggested that allotment produce provided a greater contribution to living standards, and by implication, health, than previously appreciated, whilst Ashby suggested a figure of 20-25 % of the diet of many families was directly supplied by the garden or garden allotment.
The Chinnor allotments played a vital role in World War ll. In 1854 an enclosure award was made for the ‘labouring poor of Chinnor’. They were referred to as the ‘labouring poor’ because, although they were employed, their economic level was still very low.
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The discovery and recovery of the old Chinnor Orchard
Donkey Lane orchard is situated on the eastern edge of Chinnor in Oxfordshire. It lies at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, on the south eastern side and adjacent to the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway line. Donkey Lane (also known as Keens Lane) leads, by way of a bridleway, to the Ridgeway long distance path.
The orchard is owned by Mr Derek Nixey of Manor Farm. The site is presently an unused, overgrown and much neglected historic orchard.
Access to the site can be difficult for not only is the site overgrown, but the orchard is situated by an unmade lane which is very wet and muddy in inclement weather and access is over a gated railway line.
Historically this area was known as Chinnor Crossing and the plot of land originally had several cottages which fell into ruin with only an ancient well left to mark the spot.
A survey in 2013 found 20 apple trees and a single plum tree with some of the trees possibly being over 150 years old