Community orchard to 'put nature on the doorstep' of housing

Person digging a hole for the orchard

Marketing director of Linden Homes Eastern, Jason Colmer said the orchard is "part of our plan to shape a truly ground-breaking biodiverse environment on this development." - Credit: Linden Homes Eastern

A housebuilder has planted a community orchard at the site of a 143-home development in Stowupland - providing free food for households to pick and eat.

Linden Homes has funded the project, which includes 48 apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees at Oak Farm Meadow. 

Bat and bird boxes, as well as a 'hedgehog highway' are amongst the other features of the development.

The housing project is providing 143 new homes, 50 of which are affordable properties.

General manager at Giles Landscapes, which planted the trees, Richard Harmer, said: “We have planted 21 different species of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees at the site. A team of three planted 48 trees which are all about two metres tall.

Orchard planting

The orchard was funded by Linden Homes. - Credit: Linden Homes Eastern

“These trees have been set apart so that a wildflower meadow can be seeded in the spaces. This will create a very aesthetically pleasing public open space and one that will provide a wider habitat where bees and other pollinators and insects can thrive. In the autumn, fallen fruit will provide foods for the birds and other foraging wildlife such as badgers.”

Marketing director of Linden Homes Eastern, Jason Colmer, said: “It is always very pleasing to see new trees being planted at a development. The creation of the orchard is testament to our commitment to put local ecology at the forefront of our plans at Oak Farm Meadow.

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“The orchard is part of our plan to shape a truly ground-breaking biodiverse environment on this development, where 40 per cent of the site is set aside for public open spaces. These trees will soon grow tall and will provide a soft, natural aspect to the southern part of the development.

Orchard being planted at a development in Stowupland

The orchard will provide 48 fruit trees. - Credit: Linden Homes Eastern

“Getting back to nature came out as an important issue when people reassessed their requirements for a new house after being cooped up inside for long periods of time due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. This community orchard will put nature on the doorstep for these residents.

“We are told that, within a couple of years, the trees should bear fruit which the residents will be free to pick and eat. This will be great for parents who will not only be able to enjoy the fruit from the trees but can teach their children where their apples, pears, plums and cherries come from.”