By Celia Buzuk
Tenants of Rosendale Gardens Estate in West Dulwich have transformed a forgotten area of the 1950s council estate into their first ever community orchard. The project is part of wider plans by Helping Britain Blossom to bring to life over 100 community orchards across Britain by 2017.
On Sunday 28 February, local volunteers and members of the local council worked together to plant 11 fruit trees on a 400sqm plot of land that has remained hidden away behind a locked gate on the estate for years.
Members of the Rosendale Gardens Estate tenants residents association (TRA) recognised the potential of this small plot and worked together with Helping Britain Blossom to see their dreams come into fruition.
TRA member Poppy George, who has lived on the estate with her family for six years, has undertaken specialist orchard training with her fellow resident Patrick McCabe in order to manage the new orchard.
Poppy says: “What we are creating is a very special community resource, particularly for those on the estate who don’t have gardens, where people can interact with each other and connect with their neighbours in a ‘real’ way.”
“We want people to feel part of something special on their estate that they can be proud of, not just now but for future generations too.”
Ryan O’Kane, project manager for Helping Britain Blossom, believes that green spaces build healthier, happier and more sustainable communities. He says: “Community orchards are such wonderful assets for the whole community and Rosendale will be no different. I’ve no doubt it will be bearing fruit in more ways than one for years to come.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Rosendale Gardens Estate community orchard can email Ryan O’Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more information about Helping Britain Blossom visit the website: www.helpingbritainblossom.org.uk.