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Matlock Community Orchard

5/05/2016

New community orchard for Matlock

A small piece of derelict land at Derbyshire County Council's headquarters in Matlock has been transformed into a community orchard.


Some 30 volunteers from the community and members of Matlock's Well Field Allotment Society gathered to plant fruit trees at the site, next to the car park at County Hall offices, on 9 April 2016.


The initiative was organised by Dave Goodridge, Chair of Well Field Allotment Society, who sourced a wide variety of fruit trees for the orchard – including Derbyshire heritage apple Beeley Pippin, which was raised in 1880 by Rev C Sculthorpe in Beeley village.


“I'd like to thank everyone who turned out to help plant this fantastic new orchard, and Councillor Andy Botham, who made this possible by a generous grant of £930 from his Community Leadership Fund. We're also delighted that Derbyshire County Council has allowed us to put this land to such positive use,” said Dave.

Geoff Cobb, President of Well Field Allotment Society, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people of all ages from the local community coming together in the spring sunshine to plant this orchard. It's a great legacy for the future – and hopefully there will be a drop or two of our own cider to enjoy later in the year too!”


Peak District environmental project Little Green Space supported the creation of the orchard, attending to help plant the fruit trees, and also contributing a grant of £1,000 towards the orchard and wildlife-friendly features at nearby Well Field allotments.


Derbyshire County Councillor and Cabinet member for council services Andy Botham said: "It was such a shame to see this little area of land deteriorate and go to waste. We have now created an area that will attract wildlife and provide an enjoyable space for people to visit. The land is very boggy and was becoming overgrown. Planting fruit trees will help with flood management, at the same time as providing something for the community."

Matlock Community Orchard

Dave Goodridge (left), Geoff Cobb (centre) and Andy Botham (right) plant apple trees with young helpers