Monday, 30 November 2020

Community orchard with free fruit for all

A COMMUNITY orchard could be created on an overgrown piece of land in Henley.

A COMMUNITY orchard could be created on an overgrown piece of land in Henley.

The idea follows a request by residents for the plot between Paradise Road and Leaver Road to be tidied up.

At present, the town council, which owns the site, cuts the grass up to four times a year.

A report to the council’s recreation and amenities committee said a selection of native fruit trees could be planted and the fruit made available to the community.

It said: “Wokingham has created an orchard in the centre of town and has an apple press which is made available for the public to make juice with the community orchard’s fruit and their own crops.”

Councillor Sam Evans, who chairs the committee, said: “It is a triangular piece of land that’s in a great position — the views across the town are stunning because you are quite high up there.

“There is no vehicular access and at the moment it looks like a bit of a mess.”

She said she knew of a couple of people who might be interested in the orchard project and suggested involving schoolchildren.

“It doesn’t have to be the only one in Henley,” she said. “If it works we can look at other areas.”

Councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “It was allotment land when I first came to Henley and I had an allotment there. It would be wonderful to bring it back to agricultural use rather than being left as an open space.”

Councillor David Eggleton, who is a member of Henley in Bloom, suggested planting dwarf trees which would be easier to maintain and protect from deer.

The committee agreed to support the idea and A final decision will be made by the full council.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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