Call for Stogumber orchard team

Thursday 3rd April 2014 10:00 pm
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ORGANISERS behind a bid to create a community orchard in Stogumber have launched an appeal for villagers' help.

The project on the Beacon Field - the eight-acre site bought by the parish a number of years ago to save it from unwanted development - has already secured the backing of Stogumber Parish Council, which is also calling for local support to ensure the long term viability of the proposal.

"In the last 50 years Somerset has lost 62 per cent of its orchards," said a spokesman for the community orchard scheme.

"Archers Grove and Sawpitts Close (in Stogumber) were both built on existing local orchards.

"We think replacing this loss would be a great thing to do for the future resilience of the community of Stogumber and what better place to site the orchard than our parish-owned Beacon Field."

Porlock, Carhampton and Dunster have all set up community orchards, where annual apple days are celebrated and apple juice and cider made.

Dunster, the most recently established, has offered to send two members of its group to talk to and give advice to the Stogumber project.

The spokesman said the initiative would also have wildlife benefits as orchards encouraged greater diversity of bird life.

Organisers are now in the process of setting up a working party of core volunteers to get the project under way.

"If we are to make this happen, the trees and funding need to be in place by the autumn," he said.

"We hope we can involve local children at an early stage as well.

"This is a long term project which will need management over the foreseeable future.

"The more people who get involved in this exciting project the better."

Anyone interested in working on the project or helping to fund it should contact Graeme Ryan on 01984 656510, email [email protected]">[email protected] or Joe Hull on 01984 656185, email [email protected]">[email protected].

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