Small group of Primary School children planting a saplingClass photo of Primary School Children with spades and trowels in handInformal photo of four children planting a sapling with adult volunteers looking onPreschool children singing in front of Mr Frank BrightGroup Photo of visitors children and volunteers with Mr Bright centreMr Frank Bright cutting the ribbonParish Chairman holding the ribbon with children's painting displayed as if a washing lineClose up photo of young sapling in white blossomClose up photo of sapling with white blossom

Bright’s Orchard

Martlesham’s Community Orchard

On 13th February 2020, a great time was had by pupils from Gorselands School planting the trees of phase one, a mixture of apples and plums. Thanks to the children and to the school for arranging to help with the ongoing watering.

20th February 2020 saw the official opening and naming ceremony by Mr. Bright. The day started early for the team with an interview on Radio Suffolk. This time we were joined by the pupils of Martlesham Pre-School who had prepared pictures of trees, and sang a song for us and after the ribbon cutting and concluded the event with the presentation of a plaque to Mr. Bright. We would also like to thank all residents those who came along to show their support for this project. Special thanks to Pat and Ian Lisseman who opened the control tower for us, giving us shelter on a cold, wet and windy morning.

We hope that all individuals, schools and groups in the parish will find a way of using the orchard for recreation and learning. We can now add this to the other spaces available which are supported by the Parish Council; Martlesham Common Local Nature Reserve, Portal Woodlands, the Recreation Ground, and the Centenary, Harry Higgins and Jubilee Play Spaces and Bike Trails

Thanks to all those who have volunteered for the watering rota, and If you would like to be involved, either watering or in any other way please contact the parish council. We can get this done while maintaining social distancing. 

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 to 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 initial plans were exhibited on 28th October 2019. We planted the first stage of the orchard in February 2020. The opening and naming ceremony was 27th 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)