Community orchards growing in number

Brighton & Hove City Council has been working together with Brighton Permaculture Trust and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to plant community orchards across the city.

Planting has been completed at the Racehill Community Orchard in Whitehawk where 66 apple, pear, plum & damson trees were planted this winter. It is believed to be the largest traditional orchard to be planted in Brighton & Hove in a century.

An orchard was planted at Carden Primary School, a cherry tree at Hertford Junior School and trees have been planted at the Craven Vale Estate, Stanmer Park and Hollingdean Park.

Brighton Permaculture Trust helps in restoring and managing old orchards, propagating local Sussex varieties, planting community orchards, collecting apples that would go to waste and using them to make juices and chutneys and running planting and pruning courses.

Brighton & Hove City Council wants to encourage food growing in the city even in small urban spaces as part of its commitment to sustainable development. The City Sustainability Action Plan supports food growing projects in the city, these been helped along by City Parks, Housing, Property and Planning services.

There are many benefits associated with food growing, including improving the physical and mental health of residents, increasing bio-diversity in cities, reducing carbon emissions associated with long distance food distribution, and greening the urban landscape.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, Chair of Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “It’s great that we have been able to plant so many orchards. They benefit the community in so many ways and the fact we have planted one which may be the largest in a century in Brighton & Hove is such a brilliant achievement.”

Visit the Brighton Permaculture Trust website for more information.

For more information on Brighton & Hove Food Partnership go here