Community Orchard

Due to changing availabilities and the latest advice taken as a result of climate change, there has been a rescheduling of delivery times and possible changes to our timetable to plant and formally open the orchard. This will only be by a matter of weeks and may even bring the planting forward.

We are still on target for a first stage planting to take place in February.

We will keep you posted about the opening arrangements, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page as well as the parish notice boards and here for updates.

We have  had to change the rootstock for the apple trees we will be planting; all 5 different varieties of apple will be on MM106 rootstocks, which can cope with our poor soil as well as being in a grassed/meadow orchard. They will produce sizeable trees that are relatively easy to maintain. There will now be 3 varieties of plum; although one is also referred to as a gage!

We shall soon be making an announcement of the name chosen for the orchard, which will commemorate the historical and educational work of a long standing Martlesham resident – something to keep you guessing!

We hope to see you at the opening, and possibly as a volunteer helper to make sure this project firmly remains a Community Orchard for the whole parish

This is a project organise by a working party of the parish council, contactable through the Parish Council

If you  haven’t heard about our Community Orchard, you might well ask "What is this all about?"

Who?  Our community orchard is a whole community project -  planning, establishing and maintaining an orchard for our generation and future generations. The Parish Council  set up a working group with Martlesham Heath Householders, Martlesham in Bloom and interested residents to start the process, and we have an open invite to anyone else interested in the environment and creating a community legacy  to get involved.

What? Community Orchards are places for people to come together to cultivate fruit trees. Orchards can be focal point for community activities and a green haven in which to relax and wind-down. Community Orchards are frequently used as an educational resource for local schools and children.  They are also a great opportunity for people to learn new skills – fencing, wildlife watching, horticultural skills gained from pruning and maintenance of the fruit trees and jam and fruit juice making skills.

Where? We are grateful that  Martlesham Heath Householders Limited have kindly made available to the community, the redundant and unused football pitch on the western corridor next to the Control Tower - the parcel of land between the Centenary Play Space and Gorseland School. 

When? The most difficult part of setting up a Community Orchard is usually finding the land, but as that has been provided, we have already commenced the planning and preliminary work. The initial plans were exhibited on 28th October 2019. We plan to plant the first stage of the orchard in February 2020.  It may be a few years before we can all enjoy picking our fresh fruit, but worth the wait!

Why? Perhaps we should have started with this, but we all know the health, educational and ecological benefits that arise from working with and enjoying nature. It is a place for the community to come together and enjoy the outdoor peace and tranquility an orchard has to offer. 

How? With your help. We need enthusiastic volunteers and supporters in the short term to work on establishing the Orchard and in the longer term a dedicated team to permanently manage the established orchard. We’ll start small and simple and grow as the community shapes progress. Please email deputyclerk@martleshamcouncil.org.uk to register your interest so you can stay in touch and even better get involved. (All information will be handled confidentially in accordance with the Parish Council’s data protection policy)

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