Volunteers sow seeds for orchard success at Roding Valley Meadow

PUBLISHED: 15:53 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:04 25 January 2016

Volunteers plant Apple trees in the Roding Valley

Volunteers plant Apple trees in the Roding Valley


Volunteers dug deep and planted trees at the launch of a new orchard at a nature reserve.

Charity Trees for Cities and the council’s leisure arm Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure came together on Saturday to open the space for 36 mixed-variety fruit trees at Roding Valley Meadow, Roding Lane South, Redbridge.

Youngsters and councillors were among those getting stuck in to help boost the area and its wildlife.

The charity hopes the fruit trees will help encourage a new wildlife habitat, provide edible berries and fruits for people to forage and will be used as a teaching resource for the Redbridge’s primary schools.

David Elliott, chief executive of Trees for Cities, said: “Orchards are in decline and under enormous threat from land development.

“Approximately 60 per cent of orchards have been lost since the 1950s.

“We are delighted to help address this issue by planting a new orchard. The orchard will greatly improve the site for the local community and wildlife and provide food harvesting opportunities for members of the public and local schools.”

The project is being funded by Veolia Environmental Trust, which has awarded a grant of £11,500 through the Landfill Communities Fund, Essex & Suffolk Water’s Branch Out fund which kindly donated £8,000, the Mayor of London’s London Tree and Woodland Community Grants Scheme which awarded a grant of £10,000 and the Environment Development Reserve contributed by the Redbridge Council, which gave £15,000.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “In Redbridge we are incredibly proud of our green spaces and our six Green Flag parks.

“As such we are very pleased that Roding Valley will become home to a brand new orchard which will have benefits for wildlife, the environment and local people.”

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