Over the last two winters more than 550 trees have been planted across the Moorlands as part of the District Council’s plans for a network of community orchards.
Since adopting a Green Infrastructure Strategy in 2018, Staffordshire Moorlands District 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 – and over the last two tree-planting seasons a total of 565 fruit and nut trees have been planted in 22 different locations.
Volunteers of all ages, including school and youth groups, have helped to plant some of the orchards highlighting the importance to our wellbeing of connecting with nature and encouraging younger people in particular to understand more about where food comes from.
As well as leaving a lasting legacy for local communities, the orchards will also help put the Moorlands on the map nationally as they will be registered as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative which encourages people across the UK to plant trees to mark the historic Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, Councillor Joe Porter, said: “We’ve made great progress with our planting programme for community orchards across the Moorlands during the last two tree planting seasons – and there’s more come later this year.
“These fruit and nut trees will be assets for the community for many years to come and I’ve been especially pleased by the response from volunteers of all ages who have really got behind the orchards and taken on roles from helping to get the trees in the ground to pledging to look after these sites in the years ahead.
“As well as being beneficial to our plans for nature recovery and increasing biodiversity, these orchards are places where people can enjoy being outdoors and doing something beneficial to their community. And, of course, there’s the added bonus of literally being able enjoy the fruits of their labours!
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us get to this point and look forward to expanding the network of orchards to more and more areas of the Moorlands.”