Thursday, 07 July 2022

Villagers turn unused part of recreation ground into community orchard

Villagers turn unused part of recreation ground into community orchard

MORE than 30 residents from Tokers Green have created a community orchard at the Rokeby recreation ground in Chazey Heath. 

Thirty-one heritage fruit trees, including apple, plum, pear, quince and cherry, were planted on Sunday.

Families donated about £35 each to sponsor a tree and helped plant them in a small part of the field which is not used much.

Ian Beale, who has lived in Tokers Green for more than 20 years, said: “It’s a funny piece of the park. There’s a main part with play equipment and then there’s a line of trees and then this little field that people just walk through.

“We thought it would be nice to do something there and that fruit trees would be really great.” The trees were planted to mark the start of National Tree Week. Mr Beale said: “It went really well. We were pretty worried when it started snowing on Saturday but Sunday was fine.  It was cold but clear and sunny.

“Tree Week is a good time of year to be planting the trees as they are dormant and won’t need as much watering. The orchard will be a great community asset.” 

Fellow resident Catherine Haynes said: “We wanted to contribute a tree because we’ve been in the village a long time and we hope to be here for a long time to come and watch the tree grow.”

The residents decided to leave a small space in the middle of the trees for a bench where people can sit and admire the blossom.

Mr Beale said: “It will be a space for people to sit quietly and contemplate the world.”

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