Andrew Rothery of Green Futures explained: ‘Apples and orchards have been an integral part of Devon life for centuries, with local varieties of apple evolving to suit specific micro-climates and ecosystems. Apples are obviously a really tasty and healthy food resource for everyone, but apple trees also provide nectar resources for pollinating insects and homes for many other species of invertebrates and birds.
‘With the support of Green Futures Newton Abbot, Teignbridge District Council, Newton Abbot Town Council, Devon Environment Foundation, Orchard Link, and the Devon Community Foundation, the Bradley Barton Community Orchard aims to plant apple trees across the local area on open space land that currently has limited biodiversity.’
Tim Walker, from Orchard Link said: ‘We’re really keen to promote new orchards in built up areas near to where people live, because more people of all ages will benefit, not just from the delicious local apples, but also from learning more about their local ecosystem and becoming more involved.’
The six varieties of tree that were planted were – Paignton Marigold, Pig’s Snout, Peter Lock, Luccombe’s Pine, Tidicombe Seedling and a Plympton Pippin.
‘It’s a great start,’ said local Councillor Mike Hocking. ‘These apples are going to available for local people to harvest and children particularly are going to benefit from being able to learn about where apples come from and the life-cycle that goes on throughout the year.’
Paul Hearn, a Green Futures Volunteer said: ‘It’s great to feel part of something creative and positive in our local community. It gives us a place to go when we go out for a walk where we’ve had an input and made a difference.’
Teignbridge Council’s Green Spaces team are behind the initiative. ‘It’s wonderful to see local people taking the initiative,’ said Green Spaces manager, Mark Payne.
‘We are really keen to encourage greater biodiversity on Teignbridge Council’s land whenever we can, so we’re only too happy to be working here with Green Futures volunteers.’
For more information about the Bradley Barton Community Orchard, go to www.greenfutures-newtonabbot.co.uk or check out the Green Futures Newton Abbot Facebook page.