Tiverton Tree Team Volunteers Create Community Orchard
Photo credit Tiverton Tree Team - more event photos on Facebook.
Volunteers of all ages joined Tiverton Tree Team and district councillors on 4th December to plant a new community orchard at Mid Devon District Council land in Tiverton. Designed by forest garden specialist Jenny Haynes and local forester Dave Wood, the orchard will nurture apple, plum, pear, cherry, mulberry and nut trees. The apple trees are South West heritage varieties, grown by Ruth O’Brien and Alex Wilson at their small, ecologically-friendly farm Steepholding in Holcombe Rogus. The other trees have been supplied mainly by Cove Nursery.
The intention is for the community to be at the heart of the project with the orchard becoming a local asset which will, in a few years, provide free fruits, berries and nuts to local people, as well as being a tranquil riverside location for the community to enjoy. It is hoped that the local community, working alongside the Tiverton Tree Team, will care for the orchard in the years and decades to come.
The Council has ambitions to plant more than 600 trees at different sites across Mid Devon this winter in an effort to enhance biodiversity and address carbon pressures – an environmental priority set out within its Corporate Plan for 2020-24. Further plans have also been outlined for more to be planted during the winter of 2022-23, subject to consultation.
Franny Armstrong, from Sustainable Tiverton said:
“Planting trees is a simple way for everyone from toddlers to pensioners to get involved in tackling the climate and ecological emergencies. As well as doing the crucial job of absorbing carbon dioxide, fruit and nut trees also provide habitat and food for wildlife, decrease the loss of soil during flooding, create shade for picnicking humans and, in time, even provide free food to the local community. Talk about a win-win-win-win!”
Councillor Colin Slade, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change said:
“It is great that we can provide such a unique asset to the town; one that the whole family can enjoy. It is hoped that this and the many other plantings taking place over the winter will provide a legacy for future generations to enjoy whilst helping to tackle climate change.“Devon declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and tree planting forms an important part of delivering the Council’s intentions of being carbon neutral by 2030.”
Rosie Wibberley, from Tiverton Tree Team said:
“Planting trees is great exercise and great fun. Before the pandemic, the Tiverton Tree Team regularly had 70 volunteers out planting 1000s of trees once a month and this year we are back with even more commitment and enthusiasm. We will be restoring an ancient woodland outside Tiverton on the 8th Jan, 29th Jan & 19th Feb and planting at other sites TBC. If anyone would like to join us, please email email@example.com, follow us on Twitter (@tivvytreeteam) or join our Facebook group ‘Tiverton Tree Team’.”