Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting RA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Help available to restore Worcestershire's beautiful orchard heritage
7:30am Monday 4th March 2013 in News
WORCESTERSHIRE County Council is urging orchard owners to take advantage of funding on offer to help restore the county's beautiful orchard heritage.
The county council, working in partnership with Natural England, is offering grants to preserve traditional orchards. So far over 20 hectares of traditional orchard have been earmarked for restoration work including new tree planting and pruning.
Applications for grants are being accepted until March 15, 2013, and orchard owners are urged to consider applying for funding to preserve these beautiful and iconic habitats within the Worcestershire landscape. All work must take place by the end of December 2013.
The Worcester Orchard Workers, a local volunteer group, will be carrying out work in some of the orchards to be restored through this grant scheme.
The group formed to promote preservation and care of fruit trees scattered across the city of Worcester, many of which are the remains of extensive areas of orchard dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries, since incorporated into parks and private gardens as housing development replaced horticultural land.
The group now find their services and expertise in demand beyond the city's boundaries, and they support the activities of community orchards and private orchard owners in other areas of Worcestershire.
Grants have also been made to restore old farm orchards, with owners keen to preserve the contribution of orchards to the character of the local landscape. Also receiving protection is the significant heritage and genetic value existing within the locally distinctive varieties of fruit bred by Worcestershire nurserymen over more than 150 years.
For more information, or to request an application form, phone Rebecca Lashley on 01905 766852, or email email@example.com. To find out more about Worcestershire County Council Ecology Services, phone the Environmental Policy Team on 01905 766723, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Ecology Services webpage at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/ecology.