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Debenham: Aim to create largest community orchard in Suffolk

06:00 22 January 2014

The largest community orchard in Suffolk could be created in Debenham

The largest community orchard in Suffolk could be created in Debenham

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A group which is attempting to create the largest community orchard in Suffolk wants people to get involved with the project and plant trees.

The Debenham Woodland and Waterways Group aims to put more than 250 trees in the ground over the next few years.

So far less than nine trees have been added to the soil at the four-and-a-half acre site off Aspall Road, near the centre of the village. But around 30 are to be planted by volunteers next month.

An earlier group project saw a woodland and lake created called The Hoppit Woodland & Lake in the village.

Kevin Voller, treasurer for the group, said: “If we continue with the planting I’m confident it will be as big as is planned. This was a project that started about 10 years ago but we are now looking to create a traditional Suffolk orchard. We have a core team of 10 volunteers but we call on the community at different times – the Scouts, Guides and primary school – to help with the tree planting.”

Another member of the group, Richard Sharp, said he wanted to see a number of different fruit trees in the orchard.

He said: “It would be nice to have a wide variety of traditional and rare Suffolk varieties of mid Suffolk.”

The trees are being supplied by the Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group, which has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out the work.

Its chairman Paul Read said the largest community orchard currently was in Stradbroke and consisted of around 60 trees.

“We will certainly help them to do it and help to provide the right sort of trees,” he said.

Suffolk County Council leased the parish council the land for the project to take place.

To find out more about the project and the planting day, on February 1 between 10am-4pm, contact debenham.woodland@btopenworld.com 
The group will be meeting at Hoppits Lake and refreshments will be provided. To visit the group’s website go to www.thehoppit.btck.co.uk. More than 3,000 trees were planted to create the woodland area.

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