The orchard at the Knapp in Sidmouth

Community Orchard coming to Littleham

 

East Devon District Council is supporting the community around Bidmead, Littleham, to plant and care for a new orchard. Volunteers are needed to help plant and look after the traditional apple trees and to make sure the orchard thrives into the future.

A series of practical days will be held for people who are interested in getting involved. Workshops will include planting, pruning and grassland management. An open information session will be held on Wednesday 11 February in Bidmead Community Centre between 12 and 3pm. Tree planting will take place on Wednesday 18 February between 12 and 3pm. Tools, gloves and refreshments will be provided.

Organised by East Devon’s Countryside and Community Development Teams, this is part of a wider vision to plant more traditional orchards across the district. In recent years the Countryside team has restored or planted five orchards on local nature reserves.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, said:

This is a great way to get our local communities involved in creating new orchards, which have been in severe decline in the south west for a number of decades now. To be able to creatively reuse some of our neglected or underutilised open spaces for both wildlife and local people shows the council’s commitment to its outstanding natural environment.

This is the first of many similar projects that our Countryside, Streetscene and Community Development Teams are working on across the whole of the district. Watch this space for more news on this exciting scheme.

This is a great opportunity to enhance the environment for wildlife, especially bees and other pollinating insects. In the future this orchard will provide a fruit crop for local people and we will able to make and drink some Littleham apple juice.

People love the idea of an area, which was empty becoming full of trees and wildlife. We are offering to take photos of the children planting the trees, so they can keep the photo as they and the tree grow up together. Every person we’ve spoken to about the unfenced orchard in Bidmead has been positive about the idea of creating a special place like this in the heart of their community.

For more information email countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 517557