You may have seen a few social media & blog posts recently about a brand new community orchard that is coming to town. Well, we are really pleased to confirm that it is definitely happening and following official council approval, we can now tell that we will be planting the orchard on Saturday 15th December and YOU are all invited to join in.
The poster above explains most things about the planting day itself but this is a long term project, financed and supported by The Orchard Project. The Orchard Project is a national charity trying to re-fruit the country, working in partnership with communities to plant, manage, restore and harvest their own orchards. They are rebuilding orcharding skills, celebrating orchard heritage and contributing to a better, locally-led food system. And Kingston, especially Berrylands, has a wealth of orchard heritage!
Thanks to the wonderful Alison Fure, a local ecologist and campaigner for better protection for our wildlife and natural environment, we successfully won a bid to start our own community orchard and we are really pleased that Alison will be leading the project, with the support of the Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve. This new orchard will be located in Green Lane Recreation Ground and so we came up with the catchy title of … Green Lane Community Orchard!
This orchard will sit in a park located just by the River Hogsmill in between Berrylands and New Malden. As such, we hope to bring these two communities together, to work side by side on this project. We want this orchard to transform lives; to build a resilient community, improve our wellbeing and help nature to thrive. As well as being a great opportunity to grow a variety of fruits for locals to be able to help themselves to, we will be providing a fantastic new habitat for wildlife, helping our pollinators and birds in particular. We intend to install lots of bird boxes and bug hotels in the future and really hope local children will be able to get involved with these aspects of the project as well as learning about the orchard plants.
A small team recently attended some training with Lewis from The Orchard Project in North London to learn the basics of orchard planting, mulching and maintenance. Lewis will be our project mentor, supporting us throughout the initial stages. We are really hoping that there are loads of keen gardeners, fruit tree fans and wildlife fans out there who will want to get involved. But you don’t have to have experience. If this interests you at all then do get in touch with us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just come along to the event on Saturday 15th December. We look forward to a fruity future in our new community orchard!