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News from Bradfield Village Hall
28th January 2010

Bradfield To Get Community Orchard

Towards the end of 2009 Bradfield Parish Council approached Northern area Community Forestry for help in establishing a community orchard on leased land behind the disused Yorkshire Water building in Low Bradfield.

Sixty-five Fruit Trees

At this stage a plan for an initial phase of 15 fruit trees provided by community forestry was considered. The plan was superseded following confirmation that a 'Bradfield in Bloom' bid to the Northern Community Assembly for an additional 50 fruit trees had been successful. This was a major boost to establishment of the community orchard and increases the original plan for this season four fold.

The selected fruit tree species for the orchard will include both heritage and modern varieties. A range of different fruit including apple, pear, plum, damson and cherry will be planted. This selection will provide a varied range of fruit that can be used for cooking, pressing and eating.

Orchards can be a wonderful resource for local communities in many ways; A local orchard will be of benefit to the community as it encourages residents, especially young people, to understand where their food comes from. It will provide a place for quiet contemplation or an area for local community festivals and also a refuge for wildlife.

An orchard can provide the community with shared activities such as planting, pruning, harvesting to enable people of different age groups and backgrounds to join together. The fruit will provide locally grown food, reducing food miles and involve local people in improving their environment.

An orchard provides a focus for reviving an interest in fruit growing, providing a way of sharing knowledge and horticultural skills that stimulate the community into growing food again. It could also provide opportunity for other projects to be created, eg bee keeping or a herb garden.

Planting Session

Community Orchard Planting with SCC Community Forestry, the Ranger Service, Bradfield in Bloom and the Parish Council is scheduled for 10.30am, Saturday 20th February 2010.

Meet at the entrance to the footpath/track opposite 'The Plough Inn' pub. Please wear warm clothing and sturdy boots. All tools etc.. will be provided.

For more information please contact Tim Shortland, Community Forestry Manager, on 0114 2734190.