Heald Street Orchard, Pepperell

Heald Street Orchard, Pepperell

Pepperell, Massachusetts 01463

Heald Street Orchard webpage

Tips for Birding

This 80-acre town-owned property was once a working apple orchard and still grows apples, although it is no longer maintained as such. Feel free to try some apples, but please be careful of the trees. Walk along grass lanes through the orchard, find the frog pond and look for turtles, and then follow the path down the hill and through the woods to a small, sandy opening on the backside of Heald Pond.

Birds of Interest

Many grassland and early successional birds use this rich habitat for breeding, while other birds nest nearby and forage in the orchard. The Pepperell birding community has compiled an extensive list of birds found in the orchard. Birds with declining population trends are birds of conservation concern. View an extensive summary of birds observed in the orchard.

Some of the birds of conservation concern in the orchard are as follows:

  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Chimney Swift
  • Northern Parula
  • Osprey
  •  Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Scarlet Tanager

About this Location

The orchard is past its prime for commercial fruit production; however, it still provides many benefits to the community, including water quality protection, wildlife habitat, and recreation. The orchard landscape has been slowly reverting to an early successional habitat. In the ever-changing landscape of succession, grasslands are overtaken by woody species developing into shrublands; tree species then spread seed and succeed into a forest. Early successional habitat is declining in our region due to urbanization. Managing early successional habitat and diversity of landscape is becoming increasingly important for wildlife. The property is now being maintained as a mosaic of the orchard, grassland, and early forest habitats through active and passive management techniques with approximately 18 acres of apple trees being cut to create a grassland habitat for the benefit of wildlife.

Directions: Go about 1.5 miles on Heald Street away from Pepperell Town Hall (corner of Main Street and Park Street). The orchard is on your left. The main entrance is on the western side of the Orchard: farthest away if you are coming from the town center. Look for the gate. Park on the side of the road, but not blocking the gate for the orchard.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Heald Street Orchard.

Content from Heald Street Orchard webpage and Molly Jacobson