As part of the Council’s commitment to planting 1000 trees across the district, today the first community orchard was planted at Sutton Lawn.
Located at the heart of the park a selection of apple, pear and nut trees have been planted, with plans in place to extend the flower beds to include a selection of herbs.
Once established the orchard will provide local residents with fruit and nuts they can pick and take home.
The first trees were planted with the help of children from Hillocks Primary School and Leamington Primary School. The aim is to create a Green Zone within the park where children can learn about where their food comes from.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Jason Zadrozny said “The Council has committed to planting 1000 trees and what better way to do it than in a way that can be enjoyed by the whole community. We’ve planted 40 trees today, and this is just the start of our plans for across the district. Community orchards have been successful in other areas and I can’t wait to be out collecting apples in the next few years.”
At today’s event Councillors were joined by Council officers, pupils from Hillocks Primary School, Leamington Primary School and the friends of Sutton Lawn to plant the first trees.
Entry to the Orchard is via a bespoke metal archway, designed and manufactured within half a mile of the park by Lindhurst Engineering.
Named as the ‘Moorhouse Orchard’, it’s named after Alex Moorhouse who has been a park keeper at Sutton Lawn for over 40 years. Alex has worked tirelessly to create outstanding open spaces across Sutton, including The Lawn and Brierley Forest Park. Starting as an apprentice with the Council in 1974 Alex’s passion for the outdoors and providing excellent out door spaces is reflected in the parks and teams he manages.
Unaware that the orchard was to be named after him until today, Alex said “I am shocked that the orchard has been named after me, it is a real honour. I’ve been lucky enough to do a job I love for the past 40 plus years and I’m proud that I have played a part in developing outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by all ages.”
Cllr Zadrozny added “Alex is dedicated to the parks and his passion and knowledge are reflected in the outdoor spaces he and his team manage. It’s an honour to be able to open the orchard today and I hope Alex takes pride in having the orchard named after him.”
This is the first of the community orchards to be planted, with others planned for Brierley Forest Park, Hucknall and Kirkby.
Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Cabinet Member for Streets, Parks & Town Centres said “We are currently looking at locations for orchards in Kirkby and Hucknall, and plans are already underway for Brierley Forest Park. We want to provide areas where children can learn about food, residents can enjoy collecting fruit and using it in their cooking and baking and we can hold events such as apple pressing.”
The Community Orchards are part of the Councils Green Agenda that also includes planting bee and butterfly habitats, improving wildflower verges across the District and the installation of 20 electric car charging points.