Green dream: New community orchard planted in Longridge with help of local youngsters

The Ribble Valley town of Longridge has a new community orchard, thanks to the work of a team of volunteers.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 4:55 am

Local youngsters, parents, grandparents and members of Longridge Environment Group (LEG) rolled up their sleeves to plant the new orchard in Foley's Field, next to St Paul’s church, near the centre of the town.

LEG spokeswoman Daphne Saunders, a member of the Group’s ecology team, said “Two year old fruit and nut trees were planted by local children. These young tree planters can watch the trees grow as they grow up. In a couple of years they will be picking apples, pears, plums, cherries (in a good year), nuts and mulberries.”

She added: “Members of the Longridge Environment Group, mums, dads and grandmothers gave invaluable help as holes were dug, trees went in and were mulched and given wire guards.”

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All age groups helped plant Longridge's new Community Orchard

Daphne continued: “The Tree Council made this possible with a grant to cover the costs and Ribble Valley Borough Council gave permission for the lovely sunny slope above Foley’s Path to be used, all with the backing of Longridge Town Council. Over the years the trees will absorb carbon and increase biodiversity as well.”

The borough council provided a walnut and mulberry tree for the Longridge Community Orchard.

Several youngsters signed up to be “guardians of the trees”.

The young volunteers included Elliot Clifton, Effie Lockwood, Toby Hall, James, Harry and Emily Parker, Harry Squires, Katie and Grace Dewhurst, Dominic Cooke and Jason and Jasmine Reid.

Young volunteers help with the digging at the new Longridge Community Orchard

In total 19 trees were planted at the site.

St Paul's church overlooks the new Longridge Community Orchard
The community orchard is just a few minutes walk from Longridge town centre