Grow a greener East Cambridgeshire

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East Cambridgeshire District Council is inviting green fingered groups across the district to get involved in their community orchard campaign.

Schools, parish councils and community centres are among the eligible groups who could receive up to 10 free fruit trees and essential equipment needed to plant their very own orchard.

There is plenty of time to apply before the deadline on January 30 but the number of trees available is limited so get your applications in quickly.

The programme forms part of the Council’s top 20 commitments in their second annual Environment and Climate Change Action Plan which aims to reduce carbon emissions and boost the natural environment.

Councillor Julia Huffer, Chairman of the Operational Services Committee, said: “Since launching this scheme, we have had several applications from local schools, community groups and many more all looking to play their part for our environment.

“The scheme is easy to apply for and open to a range of different groups and is a great way for communities to come together to create something really lovely for everyone to enjoy.

“This is a really great scheme and I look forward to seeing all of the new orchards spring up across the district and seeing them flourish over the years to come for future generations to enjoy.”

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 to this, you will also need soil with good drainage and to provide a commitment to get the wider community involved in and access to your project.

Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis.

The orchard scheme runs alongside the Council’s own planting scheme which will see approximately 60 locally sourced, native deciduous trees planted across the district.

You can find out more about the orchard scheme and how to get involved on the Council’s website here: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/content/create-orchard