The Avening Community Orchard project has received a £6,400 cash boost from Gloucestershire County Council’s Thriving Communities Fund.

The grant will allow residents in the village to create a community orchard in the corner of their recreation ground and provides funding for a number of fruit trees, wildlife boxes, information boards and benches to be positioned in or around the orchard and a series of workshops run by Trust Juice for children and adults alike.

The community has already organised several action days and they will be meeting regularly during November and December to work on orchard preparations, bramble management, tree planting and putting up the tree guards.

The project is being led by Avening resident Dr Phoebe Carter who cultivated the idea of a village community orchard and made the grant application to the Thriving Communities Fund to help make her vision a reality.

Dr Carter said “I would like to thank Gloucestershire County Council and the Thriving Communities Fund for giving us the money to make this project a reality. Getting people outdoors and reconnected to nature is so important. The orchard gives us a way to provide more for our community - more trees, more wildlife, more fresh food, more time outdoors and more educational opportunities!”

“A large number of Avening residents are involved in the project and we are all really excited to start work in early November and develop a long term asset for our community which will help the environment, develop community spirit and improve people’s health and wellbeing”.

Cllr Tony Slater, chairman of Avening Parish Council added “The Parish Council had been liaising with Dr Carter for several months, and fully supported her proposals for developing a community orchard on an unused wild area at the playing field.  When the Thriving Communities Fund was announced, we immediately passed on the information to Dr Carter as we knew funding was an obstacle to her vision, and we are very pleased that the project can now come to fruition.”

Gloucestershire County Councillor for Tetbury & District Cllr Stephen Hirst said, “I would like to congratulate Phoebe on converting an unused and unloved corner of Avening’s recreation ground into a community asset which will improve the health and wellbeing of the residents. Small projects like this are crucial to helping the environment and biodiversity and show what can be achieved by our individual communities. It’s a fantastic project and it’s exactly the sort of initiative the county council’s Thriving community’s Fund was set up to support”.

If you would like more information about the community orchard or would like to get involved, please visit the Avening community orchard Facebook page at AveningCommunityOrchard

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