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Community orchards at heart of green recovery

More than 20 new orchards will take root across the Moorlands this tree planting season as part of the District Council's plans for a greener future through improved natural spaces.

Since adopting a Green Infrastructure Strategy in 2018, the Council has worked with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to map the District and prepare a delivery plan which includes an ambitious list of around 60 potential projects.

The community orchards are amongst the first of these projects to be delivered. The latest site to be added to the growing list is Newpool Meadows in Knypersley.

Councillor Joe Porter, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, joined volunteers at the weekend to plant another of the orchards.

He said: "Community orchards are just one of the projects we're working with local communities to deliver as part of our work to improve natural spaces across the Moorlands.

"Trees have an important role to play in mitigating the impact of climate change but also in the general wellbeing of our communities and neighbourhoods. It's well known that spending time amongst nature is good for our physical and mental health so I'm especially pleased that local people are involved in planting and caring for these orchards and will reap all the benefits these sites will bring.

"I was delighted to join the volunteers at the weekend and am looking forward to carrying out more tree planning in other areas of the District over the coming weeks."

The council has previously planted orchards in five locations in Leek earlier this year on land in Haregate, Wallbridge and Brough Park. There are a further five sites in Biddulph and five in Cheadle which will be planted this autumn/winter period, with more planned on parish council owned sites in other villages across the Moorlands.

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