Communities across the Chichester District to benefit from new community orchards
Chichester District Council has secured £12,000 to increase tree cover and enhance community wellbeing through the creation of new community orchards in the Chichester District.
This is thanks to a share of the government's £2.5m Coronation Living Heritage Fund, which has been developed to promote green spaces and connect communities with nature to mark the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
Chichester District Council, which is one of 39 councils participating in the community orchard component of the fund, will be issuing grants to parish councils and community groups to support the development of community orchards within their local area.
This is part of the council's successful 'Tree Chichester District' scheme, which has already supported the planting of seven community orchards in Selsey, Chichester, Fishbourne and Goodwood over the past year.
"King Charles III's love of nature and passion for the environment is well known so it seems fitting, and we're pleased to honour his coronation by delivering community projects that enhance our local green spaces for the enjoyment of generations to come," says Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council.
"Community orchards are public spaces where people can come together to plant collections of fruit trees and are a great way for residents to access local produce. This type of planting can improve the soil, support wildlife — including increasing bee numbers — and offer a hands-on opportunity for schools and communities to learn about wildlife, planting, and the best way to nurture trees. They also provide a hub for people to meet, socialise, take part in community activities and learn new skills, all while helping to support the local environment.
"Through our Tree Chichester District scheme, we're proud to have already supported parish councils and local community groups to develop seven community orchards across the district. The £12,000 funding boost will enable us to continue this amazing work, which benefits our district in so many ways, including improving biodiversity, enhancing the local landscape, and helping to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of those living in our communities.
"We hope that parish councils and community groups will be as excited as we are to see more community orchards established across the district. If you're interested in starting a community orchard planting project, please get in touch with our Tree Project Officer by emailing email@example.com or calling 01243 521161."
The council's Tree Chichester District scheme — which was launched in January 2021 and has seen almost 25,000 trees planted through 175 individual projects — is an integral part of the council's Climate Emergency Action Plan. From launching a ground-breaking project that aims to safeguard and enhance strategic wildlife corridors, to introducing comprehensive carbon literacy training for councillors and staff to help them better address climate change within the council's work, the Climate Emergency Action Plan sets out over 60 actions aimed at reducing the council's carbon footprint and to encourage residents, businesses and organisations to join its approach. For more information about the work the council is doing to help combat climate change, visit the council's climate change webpage.
People can find more information about the Tree Chichester District scheme on the council's tree scheme webpage.
Date of Release: 9 January 2024