New community orchards could start to blossom across the borough, as Wokingham Borough Council has worked with Freely Fruity to establish a new tree nursery on land between Barkham and Finchampstead.
The new orchard will sit alongside the site earmarked for the council’s first solar farm and compliments the council’s own plans to plant thousands of new trees across the borough, helping improve biodiversity and reducing local carbon emissions as the trees grow.
The land will be used by Freely Fruity to propagate new saplings with a range of fruit trees proposed including apples, plums and pears of all different varieties.
And there’s great news as the trees propagated here will benefit everyone, as Freely Fruity continue to work closely with local schools, businesses, churches and communities to plant new community orchards across the borough. Once grown, fruit from the orchards will be donated to local food banks and charities.
“I’m passionate about taking action and tackling the climate emergency so, being able to support projects like this which will have a real impact on emissions, is great.” Said Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services. “I’d like to thank Freely Fruity and look forward to the partnership between us blossoming further. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work together to seed a lasting legacy for the whole borough.”
“Their mission to reduce carbon emissions by planting new trees aligns very much with our own ambitious tree project. And doing this, whilst also providing free fruit for our local communities, is such a good idea. Not only does it help inspire people to get involved with improving their environment, but it also helps educate them and understand more about where their food is coming from.”
Matt Knight, co-founder of Freely Fruity, said: “Since starting the charity in 2020, Wokingham Borough Council have been hugely supportive of our charity’s aims. Our desire to plant thousands of fruit trees ties in beautifully with the council’s own action plan. James, Ryan, all the volunteers and myself are eternally grateful for the hard work and dedication from the borough’s staff and councillors.
“This landmark project will not only ensure a sustainable source of trees for the charity going forward, but it will also help us to cut carbon emissions and provide free fruit for thousands of people. We look forward to our partnership continuing to grow in the coming years.”
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