A Community Orchard
We envisage a distributed orchard, with a number of small groves and individual fruit trees on Parish Council land and in other public green spaces, including the wider verges around the Village (which requires permission from Winchester City Council and some corporate landowners). The orchard could offer many opportunities:
· actively bringing residents together to plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees
· acting as a focal point for community activities such as wassailing, blossom days and apple days
· fostering pride amongst young people in their locality and offering them management experience and skills development
· demonstrating the scrumptious benefit of fresh, organic fruit
· avoiding food waste by harvesting unwanted fruit from gardens for the wider community
· linking food to the land, for children
· boosting pollinators by under planting with wild flowers
· encouraging environmental awareness for all residents
· appreciating the value of biodiversity and sustainability
· illustrating the advantages of cultural diversity, and
· providing a memorial garden, through commemorative adoption of a tree
The trees around the Village would be an attractive addition, besides having valuable environmental credentials, particularly if underplanted with wild flowers. Residents living close by, especially children, may wish to adopt a tree, acting as caretakers. The trees could be sponsored by community groups and families, and may act as particularly poignant living memorials.
In association with the Winchester Basics Bank and Wilder South Wonston, in 2021 we started an annual collection of unwanted garden fruit. Hopefully, this will eventually link to a celebratory Apple Day.