Council celebrates the planting of 28 new Community Orchards

East Cambridgeshire now has 28 new orchards thanks to a district council initiative to give away free trees to community groups.

Churchyards, schools and public open spaces are just some of the many areas across East Cambridgeshire to receive a share of approximately 300 native fruit trees made available under the East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Community Orchard scheme.

Members of the Council’s Green Team celebrated by planting their own mini orchard inside the grounds of the Jubilee Tree Maze at the Country Park in Ely.

Many of the trees will be plotted onto the Queen’s Green Canopy Website, alongside the magnificent beech tree that was planted by school children in Brinkley and many other trees planted by the Council this winter, all in honour of HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A map of all the Community Orchards can be found on the Council’s website.

The Community Orchard scheme is one of 20 initiatives the Council has included in its Environmental Plan for 2022/23 to help create a cleaner, greener East Cambridgeshire.

Other projects include adding solar panels to the roof of the Council’s business hub, E-Space North, replacing its ageing fleet of recycling lorries with vehicles that run on Hydro treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and installing electric vehicle charging points in its car parks.

Cllr Julia Huffer, chair of the Council’s Operational Services Committee and green champion, said: “There are so many benefits to planting trees. They absorb harmful carbon dioxide, which reduces climate change and helps clean the air we breathe, they support birds and wildlife and they are good for our mental health and wellbeing.

“I am really proud of the communities across East Cambridgeshire which have made the time and effort to help create an amazing 28 new orchards across our district. These are not just for our benefit now, they will hopefully stand the test of time and be appreciated for generations to come.”