Planting begins on two new community orchards in South Norfolk

Planting has begun to create two new community orchards in south Norfolk following the donation of new saplings as part of National Tree Week.

Work has started in Wreningham, near Wymondham, and Wacton, near Long Stratton, after local projects received the trees from South Norfolk Council.

The district council has this year handed out 2,500 metres of new hedging and 432 new trees to 33 of its 119 parishes to mark tree week, which ends on December 4.

The donation of 12 saplings to Wacton has enabled the start of a new community orchard on a green space in the centre of the village, which is being created to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year.

Dennis Bird, local tree warden, said the work at Blacks Meadow would form a traditional English apple orchard with the trees spaced six metres apart.

Mr Bird is also planning to introduce five old Norfolk varieties in addition to the tree week gifts, including a Pineapple Russet, St Magdalene, Norfolk Dumpling, Admiral, and Captain Palmer, which originates from nearby Gissing. He added that local people will benefit from the fruit from the trees when they mature in a few years.

'It is a vacant piece of land and we are trying to turn it into an old English orchard. The grass will be allowed to grow and it will only be cut twice a year and when the trees are established, we will plant wild flowers. The idea is to make it a pleasant a place to walk through and use the area.'

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'These will be trees that are allowed to grow to their natural height, and we will plant them in the traditional way with wide six metre spacing so that they can flourish and everyone can enjoy the fruit from them for generations to come,' he said.

South Norfolk Council has supplied 18,500 metres of hedgerow and 5,651 number of trees under National Tree Week.

Martin Wilby, deputy leader of South Norfolk Council, added: 'National Tree Week is a wonderful example of what we mean by the Big Society. This is about improving the quality of life for our communities as well as the environment we live in.'

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