On Friday 12th April,the Chignals and Mashbury Jubilee Community Orchard was officially opened. Local residents and children joined in with the tree planting and were able to label their own trees.

The Orchard Management group approached the Edible Essex project last year for support, and early this year, Edible Essex was able to pay for a management plan and 24 local varieties of top fruit and nut trees.  The management plan  guides the planting of the trees and wildflowers and the future maintenance of the orchard site. Further fruit trees and fencing was awarded by Lafarge Communities Fund and the Woodland Trust has provided over 400 hedgerow trees to plant around the site.

The site at Howlett’s Corner is leased from Chelmsford City Council. The orchard will bring local people of all ages together in a village where there is no obvious centre, and will also increase the wildlife value of an inaccessible rough grassland site.  The future harvests will be shared with members of the orchard group and with local people who will visit during regular events at the site.

For more information about Edible Essex visit www.edibleessex.org.uk