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The Iremongers Pond Association has received a grant from TESCOs which will enable it to, jointly with the Wilford Community Group develop a community orchard for Wilford.
An orchard is a collection of fruit and, sometimes, nut trees often planted among grass full of wild flowers. Just as traditional orchards were often the centre of village life and a cornerstone of the rural economy, Community Orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees and to use as the focal point for community activities such as Apple Day, open air plays, picnics, story-telling events or festivals or as a green haven in which to relax and wind-down.
A place of wonder: orchard transform throughout the changing seasons, providing a different experience with every visit. Orchards have an important place in the English countryside. Until the 1950s orchards were widespread throughout England. Since then Natural England estimate that 63% of orchards have been lost, in some areas this is as high as 90%
A green space: a communal asset, a place for contemplation and for locals simply to be and to rest.
A place to learn and have fun: A place to revive our interest in fruit growing, providing a different experience with every visit. To run events in particular linked to spring and harvest.
There are now many Community Orchards both locally and nationally. For example St. Anns Community Orchard is said to be a “lively hub of educational and community life centred on local children and families.”
The Friends of the Hook in Ladybay have planted a Community Orchard of 24 trees.
After discussion between the Iremongers Pond Association, the Wilford Community Group with advice from Local Authority officers it has been decided that to use land between the pond and the tram track would be the best approach.
The initial planting would plant both side of the desire path. It is the advice of LA officers that the area should not be fenced as this would draw unnecessary attention to the planting.
The preferred approach is to clear this land of brambles, while retaining the existing blackthorn hedge as a boundary. This would create a space that would enable about 27 fruit trees to be planted in the first year.
The development Community Orchard in Wilford would open up the potential for number of future partnership opportunities,. We need to engage with cross community organisations to gain their commitment to maintain the orchard. While we will be able to use existing Iremonger’s association equipment we cannot rely solely on them to do the maintenance.
Partnership opportunities are for example:
We would welcome suggestions from organisations within the community as to how they could make the use of the Wilford Community Orchard – please don’t be backward about coming forward.
Bill Roughton & Jonathan Shewell-Cooper
9th February 2017
View the plans by clicking here
Sometimes in apple country you may see
A ghostly orchard standing all in white,
Aisles of white trees, white branches, in the green,
On some still day when the year hangs between
Winter and spring, and heaven is full of light.
"The Land" Vita Sackville West
Come and join in helping with the planting February 25th 10-4pm..
For more detail, Click here