Tiverton Community Orchard is now open!
Tiverton Tree Team volunteers opened the new Tiverton Community Orchard on Good Friday (15 April 2022) and welcomed one and all with food, drink and fun.
"We feel that this orchard is just a little beacon of hope in very dark times." Franny Armstrong reflected on how the project began from a sense of desperation to do something positive in response to the many problems faced by people and the planet.
Jenny Hayns, the expert gardener behind the orchard design, told us about some of the different trees and fruiting shrubs, and Tiverton Tree Team's hope that the orchard would help provide free food for local people in need.
Chairman of the Council, Ray Radford, said:
"I am delighted to be here today representing Mid Devon District Council, which owns this land on behalf of the community. We are very pleased that the volunteers of Tiverton Tree Team have stepped forward to turn what was a rather unloved and unused patch of grass into this wonderful new community amenity. It’s fabulous to see families here today, enjoying this tranquil riverside location. Devon has historically been an area rich with orchards, but many have been lost over the years and I hope this is the start of the reversing of that trend and that this will be the catalyst for other similar projects across Mid Devon. I invite anyone who would like to create similar projects, to contact us as there may be other sites we could donate the land for.
"On June 26th 2019, the council voted unanimously that we will help tackle the global climate emergency by reaching 'Net Zero' carbon emissions across the district by 2030. 'Net Zero' means that the total carbon emissions we all produce via transport, heating our homes, food production and so on are not more than the total amount absorbed by our plants and trees and any carbon capture technology. Clearly, to achieve this enormous task we have set ourselves means we need to making fundamental changes right across our society. Unfortunately, the pandemic has held us up and we now only have 7 years left. There is a huge amount of work to do and it can be quite daunting at times, but I think the creation of this orchard by volunteers shows that the people of Tiverton are ready to start making the changes needed to make a safe and secure future for our children and grandchildren. Thank you."
There's nothing like a wassailing to welcome a new orchard! After the opening speches, dozens of visitors joined Tiverton Tree Team and members of Mid Devon District Council to wassail the trees.
The Town Mayor, Susie Griggs, was invited to make an offering of bread and cider to the orchard, as part of the wassailing ceremony packed with joyful chanting, music and more local cider (alcohol-free for the children).