Sowing the seeds for new orchard

A COMMUNITY orchard is set to bring a new lease of life back to an unused chalk pit.

Villagers in Heydon have banded together to clear land at Fowlmere Road ready for the planting of the orchard later this year.

Their efforts have been boosted by a grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council, which will be used to purchase a variety of cherry trees.

These will provide fruit for the community in years to come as well as helping to preserve local varieties of the fruit.

Cllr Ray Manning, leader of the district council, said: “The orchard is a welcome addition to Heydon, particularly on this previously underused piece of land.

“Projects like this will help to make sure that the traditional orchard, a focal point for many of our communities and a crucial habitat for wildlife, will continue to be a part of our landscape.

The aim of the orchard is to strike a balance between creating space for healthy tree growth, wild areas for biodiversity and open outdoor space for local people to enjoy.

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The district council has funded several similar projects across the district in recent years.

Cllr Manning said: “Our tree planting and wildlife enhancement schemes have been a real success, establishing and maintaining important wildlife features that are enjoyed by the public across the district.”

Anyone looking to establish or restore a community orchardsand can help with guidance and funding by calling the council’s ecology officer Rob Mungovan on 01954 713402.