Posted: 17/04/2012 at 14:27
In my village, we already have a community orchard and it is very popular - not least because of the autumn apple day and the sale of locally pressed apple juice.
We have a small area next to a new relief road that is being built. The County Council will fund a mixed planting of shrubs etc but it has been suggested that this would be better for the village as a whole if it were planted with a few more apple trees (one crab apple and four other varieties, all on medium rootstock). The underplanting would be meadow plants - predominantly wild flowers, with long-season colour interest. The whole would belong to the whole village, and would attract wildlife, especially bees and other pollinators.
Now, here's the challenge: the County Council will pay for several hundred shrubs to be planted, and take responsibility for maintenance for three years; if we want the orchard idea, they are happy to go along with it, will transfer the land to the parish, but won't fund any of it, apart from some topsoil and digging tree planting holes and back-filling with topsoil/compost.
Does anyone know of any funding that we could apply for that would be available for what is a small scheme (though it's a big deal for us)?
Any comments/help gratefully received.
btw we are in Somerset, so are blessed with a benign climate.