Orchard rooted in the community

A new community orchard is being planted in Garstang's Kepple Lane Park by community members and students from Moorbrook School in Fulwood.'Students Oliver Latham, Kieran Larby, Harley Lishman and John Boulton busy with their tree planting. PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2014
A new community orchard is being planted in Garstang's Kepple Lane Park by community members and students from Moorbrook School in Fulwood.'Students Oliver Latham, Kieran Larby, Harley Lishman and John Boulton busy with their tree planting. PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2014

Prepare for harvest time! Garstang’s forward thinking Transition group has raised funds for and helped plant a new community orchard.

The planting, with the aid of pupils from Moorfield special school, Preston took place at Kepple Lane Park, Garstang last Friday to mark National Tree Planting Week.

But, as Kepple Lane Park Trustee and Transition Group member Joe Gilmour explained, the project has been a year in the making.

Funds raised at stalls at last year’s Victorian Christmas Festival and Kepple Lane summer party went towards the £400 project, with a generous contribution also provided by the Orchard Windfalls Trust.

The orchard plans were drawn up by Transition Group member and aboriculturalist Daphne Sanders, using the experience gained in her own local orchard to choose varieties which will thrive.

The pupils who enjoyed learning more about planting and care of trees attend the school where Joe teaches and he said: “They absolutely loved it. They got stuck in and worked really hard!”

Some 22 apple and pear trees were planted and Joe, who put in the successful funding bid, added: “We felt a community orchard would be a great thing for the local community.”

He said the Transition group wanted to reduce carbon footprints and show it is possible to grow food locally. Visitors to the orchard will be able to help themselves to fruit and it is hoped children will learn about growing fruit.

The park was formerly the site of Garstang’s tip and Daphne and Joe are shown with some old bottles the pupils discovered when digging the ground.