New Productive Community orchards to be developed in Wales!

Resilient Green Spaces is a £1.27m partnership project being led by Social Farms & Gardens to pilot alternative re-localised food systems using communities and their green spaces as the driving force for change across Wales until June 2023. This project is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union.

Seven Community Orchard sites across Wales have recently had trees, equipment, tools and storage delivered as part of a programme of support from Social Farms & Gardens’ Orchards strand of the organisation’s Welsh Government funded Resilient Green Spaces project.

In autumn 2021, the UK community growing and farming support charity asked sites to tell them how they felt their local community would be helped by further developing their orchard.  After a rigorous application process, which included virtual and in-person visits to the proposed sites, seven were chosen to be recipients of the first round of support.

The work builds on Social Farms & Gardens’ success working with communities to plant hundreds of new orchards across Wales. The charity is working with sites to pilot, monitor and evaluate the economic benefits that community orchards could provide in addition to well-recognised social and environmental benefits. The project seeks to ignite a positive change in community owned fruit production, storage, processing and fruit-based products for Wales. 

The initial trench of successful organisations are: Cae Tan CSA (Swansea), Ysgol Bro Dinefwr (Llandeilo), Summit Good (Swansea), Tir Coed (Rhayader), Lambston Parish Resident’s Association (Pembrokeshrie), The Wilderness Trust (Llanidloes) and Clynfyw Care Farm (Pembrokeshire).

The sites will receive, as well as the trees, equipment, tools and storage, training and professional advice for the progression and development of their Orchards.  All the trees supplied were sourced from Welsh suppliers and were grown locally.

These groups are part of the first round of successful applicants; Social Farms & Gardens will be opening the second round of applications very soon – for more information contact wales@farmgarden.org.uk or https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/resilient-green-spaces/productive-community-orchards 

Each of the sites was chosen for their experience, future plans and capacity to deliver. They are exemplar sites, doing incredible work:

Cae Tan CSA

Based on The Gower Peninsula in South Wales, Cae Tan CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture Project that grows and supplies fresh, seasonal, biodynamic produce to their members. They also provide training and volunteering opportunities to a range of groups and individuals, also working with local schools to raise awareness of sustainable farming and reconnect young people to the land and their food.

You can find more on Cae Tan CSA on their website here: http://www.caetancsa.org/en/

Ysgol Bro Dinefwr

Based in Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr is a bilingual, English language/Welsh language comprehensive school for pupils ages 11 – 18. Their key aim is ‘to challenge and support pupils to become confident and effective learners by providing them with an inclusive and caring environment that places pupils’ wellbeing at the heart of everything they do’.

Ian Chriswich, Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr said, "This is an exciting new project that we hope will not just benefit our pupils but the local community. It will act as a vehicle for us to forge better working relationships with local groups of people and contribute towards us developing a circular economy around the school."

You can find more on Ysgol Bro Dinefwr on their website here: https://www.brodinefwr.org.uk/about-us

Summit Good

Summit Good is a Swansea-based Social Enterprise with a focus on eating, growing and doing good. They support Community Support Agriculture, provide a space that helps people ‘doing Summit Good together’, and empower new initiatives looking to grow local.

Joshua Pike, from Summit Good talks about the benefits their funding has brought about, “The new orchard we’ve planted has been a beautiful focus point for the users of our men’s shed and women’s shed groups, learning to plant trees and manage their growth has given people confidence and revitalised sense of accomplishment and ownership with the project. Our project looks to manage the space underneath the trees with chickens to produce eggs that will accompany the fruit from the trees and increase the availability of local produce in our community.”

You can find more on Summit Good on their website here: https://www.dosummitgood.co.uk/

Tir Coed

Based in Rhayader, Powys, Tir Coed is a charity that engages people with woodlands through volunteering, training and bespoke activities that increase wellbeing, develop skills and improve woodlands for the benefit of everyone. They work as a partner in the Elan Links Project delivering the experience and education stream of this partnership by providing opportunities to experience the Elan Valley through volunteering, education and training.

You can find more on Tir Coed on their website here: https://tircoed.org.uk/

Lambston Parish Resident’s Association

The Lambston Parish Resident’s Association is a small community association providing events and small projects for the old parish of Lambston in Pembrokeshire. Their involvement in the management of their disused common, allowing them to open new paths with fruit and nut trees.

You can find more on the Lambston Parish Resident’s Association on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/lambstonresidentsassociation

The Wilderness Trust

Based in Tylwch, Llanidloes, The Wilderness Trust have started a new project – The Hanging Gardens Project – to look at a collaborative way of creating a more resilient and sustainable local community. They are building a green hub in the centre of Llanidloes, working with all sectors of the community to find solutions to declining biodiversity in the area.

You can find more on The Wilderness Trust on their website here: http://thewildernesstrust.org/

Clynfyw Care Farm

Clynfyw is a 395-acre organic farm and woodland in North Pembrokeshire. The care farm supports people with learning disabilities and mental health unwellness and are actively involved in wider community development with a direct focus on resilience. 

You can find more on Clynfyw Care Farm on their website here: https://www.clynfyw.co.uk/

We look forward to working with these groups and will post regular updates and progress here, and on our social media channels! 

Expressions of Interest 

The 2022 round will open again soon – if you’re interested in applying, sign up to our mailing list so you’re the first to know! You can do so here: https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/join-our-mailing-list 

Otherwise, keep an eye on our website and social media accounts for all breaking news and exciting developments of the project!

Website: https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/resilient-green-spaces/productive-community-orchards
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SFarm_GardenCym
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farmgarden.wales

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