Nominate land in Leeds for a community orchard

Campaign begins: Alan Thornton makes apple juice with Max Smith-Sturman and Mahika Ambolikar from Leeds' St Anthony's RC School at Skelton Grange Enviroment Centre.
Campaign begins: Alan Thornton makes apple juice with Max Smith-Sturman and Mahika Ambolikar from Leeds' St Anthony's RC School at Skelton Grange Enviroment Centre.
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YEP readers are being asked to nominate areas of land across the city which could be transformed into community orchards.

The Helping Britain Blossom project is coming to Leeds and plans to plant eight orchards over the next 12 months, with six to be planted this winter.

The scheme aims to help create sustainable orchards of fruit trees to benefit the local community for years to come.

Alan Thornton, Helping Britain Blossom project manager, said: “Helping Britain Blossom orchards can be as few as five trees or hundreds of trees. 

“What matters is that the orchard must work for the local community and be accessible to the public.

“The orchards are great for bringing communities together. People get to join in a healthy activity, learn new skills and have the added bonus of free fruit.

“Helping Britain Blossom orchards are used for recreation, community events, therapeutic sessions for people with learning disabilities, community food production and to enhance educational curriculums and are located in parks, on wasteland, in schools and on council owned property.

“So if there is somewhere you know which could benefit from a community orchard, we’d love to hear from you.”

The project will also train local people to be orchard leaders, providing advice and support on all aspects of orchard management and provide ideas for community activities.

Bosses at Helping Britain Blossom recently met with 30 ‘Friends of’ groups in Leeds at Green Spaces and Parks Forum to kickstart the campaign. They plan to work with Leeds community groups Urban Harvest and the Northern Fruit Group and the Feed Leeds network, who will help ensure the orchards benefit Leeds’ residents.

To nominate a potential site in Leeds, contact Alan Thornton on 07730 216943 or alan@theurbanorchardproject.org.

Visit www.helpingbritainblossom.org.uk for more information.

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