Community Orchard Scheme
Ashford Borough Council are excited to announce that we are launching a local orchard grant scheme as part of His Majesty the King’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund.
Parish Councils and community partners are being offered the chance to plant new orchards or expand existing ones in their neighbourhoods to celebrate The King’s coronation. All fruit trees, along with planting sundries, will be supplied for free in winter 2024 to successful applicants who will only need to supply willing hands to plant the trees and then help make sure they’re watered and looked after during their formative years.
Community orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant a variety of fruit trees and to use the area for community activities. They increase bee numbers and are a great opportunity for schools and the communities to learn about wildlife, planting, and maintenance of trees. They give healthy food to people, as well as supporting wildlife and improving the land in a natural way.
Orchards have played an important role in communities for many centuries, providing a focal point, and a gathering space where people can come together. Kent has a long history of orchards ever since King Henry VIII instructed his Head Fruiterer to begin planting them here to supply his kitchens and banquets, giving rise to our recognition as the Garden of England. Bids for ABC’s the Coronation Living Heritage Fund scheme are encouraged to explore the wealth of community events such as Wassailing or Apple Days which they could host in their new or expanded orchards.
If you are a constituted community group and think you know of a site within your neighbourhood which could accommodate a new or expanded orchard please complete the application form.
If you’re a member of the community and think you know of a site within your neighbourhood which could accommodate a new or expanded orchard please forward a link to this page to your Parish Council or a local community group.