Community orchard named after founder

A community orchard has been named after one of its founders who died earlier this year.

The oak sign bearing the orchard's new name
The oak sign bearing the orchard's new name

The orchard, in Montgomery, has been named after Clinton Small, who died in May.

The orchard, on the corner of Forden Road and Station Road, will now be known as 'Clinton’s Community Orchard'.

The creation of a community orchard for the town had been a project close to Mr Small's heart for a number of years.

He identified a suitable location in 2017 – a triangle of land at the bottom of town that lay in the junction between the roads to Forden and to Caerhowel.

The land belonged to Powys Council, but had lain neglected for many years, reserved by the council as perhaps necessary to one day to improve the junction.

Mr Small persuaded the council that until they needed it, it would be ideal as a community orchard, and he and the MEG (Montgomery Energy Group) community gardeners were given formal permission to use it until the authority wants it back.

Mr Small managed to get a small grant from Social Farms and Gardens, an organisation dedicated to supporting community food growing, and with this, and some additional fundraising, private donations and a group of volunteers, the first trees were planted and the area kept mown and tidy.

More than five years since, soft fruit trees have been added, and a picnic bench, and some donated raised beds.

Finally, early this year, another six fruit trees were planted.

The original trees are now bearing generous quantities of fruit, as are the soft fruit bushes.

In view of Mr Small's contribution to making the orchard a reality, and maintaining it almost single-handedly during Covid when the working groups could not convene, his friends agreed that it should be named Clinton's Community Orchard in his memory.

Jenny Brignell created an oak name board for the orchard that was put in place when Mr Small's ashes were scattered.

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