Green fingered groups are being invited to plant an orchard to help the district become a greener and even greater place to live.
East Cambridgeshire District Council has launched a Create an Orchard programme that aims to support community groups, parish councils and schools to grow 26 new - or renewed – orchards as part of this year’s Environment and Climate Change Action Plan.
The scheme provides each group with up to 10 free fruit trees, stakes and other essential equipment to establish the orchard.
Councillor Julia Huffer, Vice Chairman of the Operational Services Committee, said: “This is a really lovely initiative, and we hope to see lots of community groups seize this opportunity with both hands.
“Orchards have played an important role – and a focal point - in communities for many centuries and there’s something very special about taking this forward.
“We are continuing to support these vital green spaces, encouraging people to interact with nature as custodians of the trees or by simply being around them.”
To be eligible to create an orchard, you need permission from the landowner to plant, enough space to plant each tree around five metres apart and a sunny spot providing your trees with between six and eight hours of sunshine each day.
In addition, you need soil with good drainage and to provide a commitment to get the wider community involved in and access to your project.
Finally, groups applying for the scheme will need to commit to maintaining and nurturing the orchard for generations to come.