Save our ap­ples!

Com­mu­nity or­chards and Ap­ple Days run­ning across Bri­tain in Oc­to­ber, are fun ways to help save our na­tive va­ri­eties

Gardeners' World - - Apples -

The area of Bri­tain cov­ered by or­chards has de­clined dras­ti­cally since the 1950s. To halt this trend, com­mu­ni­ties are unit­ing to save an­cient or­chards or plant new ones. Com­mu­nity or­chards can be set up al­most any­where, ur­ban and ru­ral, on derelict sites, in schools and hospi­tal grounds, on the edge of forests, as well as on al­lot­ments and open ground. Some or­chards are open only to mem­bers who pay a small subscription in re­turn for a share of the har­vest, while oth­ers pro­vide a wel­come fo­cal point and green space ac­ces­si­ble to all. Or­chards also of­fer havens for wildlife. There are now more than 700 com­mu­nity or­chards across the UK, and many will be or­gan­is­ing Ap­ple Day events dur­ing Oc­to­ber. If you’re in­ter­ested in set­ting up a com­mu­nity or­chard, there are or­gan­i­sa­tions that can of­fer ad­vice, prac­ti­cal help and on­go­ing sup­port: THE OR­CHARD NET­WORK is a part­ner­ship of or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the Peo­ple’s Trust for En­dan­gered Species ( PTES) and the Na­tional Trust, that of­fers lots of re­sources as well as a use­ful map, so you can find your near­est com­mu­nity or­chard (see Chor­ley­wood Com­mu­nity Or­chard case study be­low). Visit bit.ly/com­mu­nity-or­chards THE OR­CHARD PROJECT works to cre­ate and re­store com­mu­nity or­chards across the UK. The web­site also has lots of prac­ti­cal guides. Visit: the­o­r­chard­pro­ject.org.uk HELP­ING BRI­TAIN BLOS­SOM helps lo­cal groups to re­store ne­glected or­chards. Visit: help­ingbri­tain­blos­som.org.uk

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