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Digging in to bring new life to Worcester community plot
A DISUSED plot of land in Worcester city centre has been going from strength to strength since it was transformed into a community orchard a year ago.
Residents have now started to see the fruits of their labour on the 10-acre piece of land off Bath Road which was bought on a 10-year lease in August last year.
Retired Park Street resident Nigel Leech bought the land with two other friends and created 40 allotments – with 25 of them currently being used – and a cider orchard for the community to use.
The trio set up the Worcestershire Community Land Co-operative which is now run by Mr Leech, Jim Lott and Richard Laney.
Since then, more than 1,000 hedging plants and 50 fruit trees have been planted and a further 70 fruit trees and 420 more hedging plants will be put in over the winter.
The site even has its own composting toilet.
“It’s going very well,” said Mr Leech. “We’re still getting enquiries for next year and the end of this year. We’ve planted more than 1,000 hedging plants and we’ve got 70 fruit trees such as mulberries and quinces.
“There are bushes and trees that people don’t often see. There aren’t a lot of mulberry trees in Worcester. We are also hoping to plant perry pear trees which will last for the next 200 years.
“The intention is to make everything on the site edible or usable in some way.”
Last week, staff from npower built a bridge over the pond, created willow sculptures and planted trees as part of a company training day.
The plot is really becoming a part of the community. It is a regular spot for dog walkers and hosts a working party on the first Saturday of each month.
“The site is going very well at the moment. At the end of the lease we will have a site which is unique in the city,” said Mr Leech.
“We have lots of ideas for running clubs and courses on the site.
“We’ve also had a couple of mums who are interested in setting up allotments for children.
“Any parents who would like to see their children run an allotment or grow things, and who live in Battenhall, St Peter’s or Bath Road will be very welcome.”
There is a planting day on Saturday, December 7, for anyone to give them a hand.
For more information, visit wclcoop.org or call 0845 4581289.