Thursday, 28 February 2013

New Orchard Takes Shape As First Trees Are Planted

A new community orchard will take shape in Heydon on Saturday (2 March) when members of the parish council together with local volunteers will plant the first trees, giving a new lease of life to an unused chalk pit.

Following a recent grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council, which helped get them started, residents have been clearing the area on the edge of the village in preparation for planting their new orchard.

A variety of cherry trees local to the area will be planted, providing fruit for the community in years to come.

The aim of the orchard is to strike a balance between creating space for healthy tree growth, wild areas for biodiversity and open outdoor space for local people to enjoy, which can lend itself to facilitate education in food, improve mental and physical health and encourage interaction with nature.

Cllr Ray Manning, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Leader, said: “This is the second community orchard to be planted in as many weeks, which is fantastic.  It’s great to see underused land being used in such a positive way that will not only benefit the local community, protect local varieties of fruit and provide a crucial habitat for wildlife, but that will also protect the traditional orchard, which is such an important part of our local heritage."

South Cambridgeshire District Council is actively supporting local people to establish or restore community orchards and can help with guidance and funding.  For more information contact Ecology Officer, Rob Mungovan, on (01954) 713402.