New trees are mak­ing a change for Chal­font

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CHANGE4Chal­font planted its first com­mu­nity or­chard at Cheena Meadow in 2010, then a sec­ond just off Gravel Hill in 2012.

About 60 peo­ple came along to plant ap­ple trees in the meadow, a num­ber which dou­bled to 120 for the Gravel Hill plant­ing day where the team planted a mix of fruit.

Now the group is work­ing on a ‘vir­tual or­chard’ where they give trees to peo­ple to plant at home and map them to show where the trees have ended up.

There have been about 15 planted so far.

The plan is to also plant some nut trees, to cre­ate some va­ri­ety in the or­chards.

Op­tions in­clude al­monds or sweet ch­est­nut.

Ev­ery­one from two year olds to 80 year olds have bought into the idea.

Co-chair­man of Change4Chal­font Erica Neustadt said: “I don’t know what it is, but out of ev­ery­thing Change4Chal­font does, ex­cept for re­cyling, this has cap­tured peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tions the most.

“When we get asked about what we do this is the big thing.”

She added: “I think it’s be­cause it’s a tan­gi­ble thing, they feel they are chang­ing their land­scape.

“Plus, if you plant it now as a younger per­son, and you stay in the area, you can come back and say to your grand­chil­dren ‘I planted that’.”

Change4Chal­font was in­spired by the idea due to a longer term plan, rather than just mak­ing the vil­lage look nicer.

Erica said: “It started be­cause we thought about our fu­ture. We are run­ning out of fos­sil fuel, and that has a knock on af­fect.

“We need oil for tankers, they bring us the food for the shelves and so on.

“We are very de­pen­dent. One of the ideas when we be­came a tran­si­tion town was to think about our in­de­pen­dence. Grow­ing our own food, like fruit and nuts, is one way to do that.”

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