New community orchard taking root at Rugby park - The Rugby Observer

New community orchard taking root at Rugby park

Rugby Editorial 21st Mar, 2024   0

A NEW community orchard is taking root at a Rugby park.

Fruit trees – including cherry, apple, apricot, pear, plum and quince trees – have been planted at Jubilee Recreation Ground in New Bilton, with residents encouraged to help themselves to the produce once the trees bear fruit.

The project has been funded by the Coronation Living Heritage Fund – which aims to boost tree planting across the country, with grants awarded for the creation of coronation ‘micro woods’ and community orchards.

A successful bid for funding by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) sowed the seeds for the creation of the new orchard.

Working in partnership with Rugby Borough Council (RBC), New Bilton Community Association has already developed a community growing project at the recreation ground in Bridle Road – making it the perfect venue for the orchard.

RBC leader Coun Derek Poole said: “The council has forged a successful partnership with the New Bilton Community Association over many years, helping the Jubilee Recreation Ground to become a much-valued community asset and a winner of a Green Flag Community Award.

“We’re delighted to work with Warwickshire County Council to plant a community orchard at the recreation ground and we’re all looking forward to the trees starting to bear fruit in a few years’ time.”

Coun John Slinger, who represents New Bilton ward, added: “I was really glad to attend the opening of the orchard with my fellow ward councillor, Coun Ish Mistry, and see the great work of the RBC team, working with the county council and the New Bilton Community Association, to deliver an enhanced environment at Jubilee Recreation Ground.

“The planting of trees improves the urban environment and people’s lives. Hopefully the new orchard will flourish and be enjoyed by people in New Bilton and beyond for years.”

WCC’s environment, climate and culture spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms added: “Community orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant a variety of fruit trees and to use the area for community activities.

“These orchards increase bee numbers and are a great opportunity for schools and the communities to learn about wildlife, planting and the maintenance of trees.

“They also provide healthy and sustainable food for people, as well as supporting wildlife and improving the land in a natural way.”


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