Tree planting begins at Ottery’s community orchard as volunteers celebrate the fruit of their labours

Trees to encourage birds and bees were planted by volunteers at Ottery St Mary’s new community orchard.

A team of more than 50 volunteers on Saturday, January 11, joined councillors, East Devon District Council, and the Greener Ottery group, to plant 10 apple trees at the Land of Canaan.

Apples can be picked by the community as the trees mature and grow fruit.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the community orchard was the start of bigger project to help support wildlife and nature in the Land of Canaan, while bringing people together.

Cllr Vicky Johns, ward member for Ottery St Mary, who co-organised the event, said: “I’m hoping that this is the start of a beautiful friendship between the Ottery community and East Devon showing what can be achieved when we all work together.

“The whole idea came about due to the environmental emergency that has been declared worldwide and as a council we wanted to do something not only for the community but for the generations to come – something that makes people feel that they belong and that they too can leave a positive footprint behind them.

“With the help of various local groups, individuals, and Streetscene, we are planting local trees for local people and I am very proud to be a small part of that.”


Ward member Cllr Vicky Johns (holding the tree) and East Devon parks and open space improvement officer Lorna Christo.
Photo: EDDC.

The project was organised by EDDC’s parks service, Greener Ottery and ward member Cllr Vicky Johns. EDDC said it was a reflection of the council and community’s interest in sustainability and climate change.

Volunteers of all ages helped dig holes and plant ten locally-sourced native varieties of Devon and Cornwall apple trees.

Apple tree varieties planted were Nine Square, Lucombe’s Pine, Upton Pyne, Farmer’s Glory, Pig’s Nose, Tom Putt, Plympton Pippin, and Tidicombe Seedling.

Volunteer Chloe Jackson said: “It was great to help contribute towards local green spaces to make a small difference.

I hadn’t planted trees before so it was a new experience and I would like to be involved more.”

Stuart Lucas, who helped, said: “It was great to support the community orchard that we have wanted to get up and running.”

EDDC said the planted trees would be an ‘important food source’ for wildlife.


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