New trees are making a change for Chalfont
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.”