Fundraisers are celebrating after reaching their target of £2,000 to help create a community orchard near Redruth.

Community interest company Resilient Orchards set up a Crowdfunder page – Redruth Orchard Project – with the aim of raising enough to plant trees as well as restoring other orchards and apple trees, harvesting apples and sharing skills in the area.

Michelle Lawson, an orchardist, said the idea is to help people learn about traditional skills and provide activities to ensure apples grown in the area are put to good use rather than wasted, to promote food security, sustainability and community action.

“We are all affected by issues of food security and the wide-ranging impacts of the climate crisis,” she said.

“Being part of a community orchard can be a positive way to respond to these challenges, giving us an opportunity to create food resources for all.

“I am passionate about the benefits of community orchards – not only are they places for growing food locally but are vital, free, social spaces.”

She said the fundraiser has been extended to see if the total can get to £3,000, with a pledge from Cornwall Council to add a further £1,000 if it can be boosted.

She added: “Nothing will be lost if we don’t reach this. We intend to press on with the project in the new year and are so grateful to everyone who thought it worthy of donating to.

“Members of the Trenoweth Community Orchard Group, Redruth, also continue to work hard preparing the space there for planting early next year.

“Knowing we have funds for stakes, more trees and other vital resources to create and maintain this space will really help spur the community on. So a huge thank you.”

Michelle said the team would be looking for other funding sources as well in order to help resurrect long-held traditions.

Resilient Orchards Cornwall has already helped provide a professional orchard pruning and advice service to private and community orchard owners; engaged people in community apple pressing events in Redruth, Camborne and Portreath; and worked with other organisations such as Kehellend Horticultural Trust, Forests for Cornwall, Cornwall Council and Cormac.

The team has been given permission to work on land at Trenoweth Estate, North Country to create the new community orchard.

They have helped to set up a new community group Trenoweth Community Orchard Group to start work and people have started work clearing the space, meeting on Sundays from 2-4pm.

Michelle said: “We have received funding from Forests for Cornwall for some fruit trees in addition to locally grafted apple trees.

“We want it to be a space for as wide a range of people to contribute in different ways as possible.

“We hope local people will be keen to plant a fruit tree and perhaps adopt a tree to care for by helping to water it in the growing season as well as mulching and pruning.”

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