Shropshire Star

Lottery grant allows Telford orchard project to take root

A little-used piece of land in Telford is to get a new lease of life as a community orchard, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery.

Rednall Fields in Little Dawley

The land at Rednal Fields, in Little Dawley, will be enhanced with fruit trees and bushes after the Dawley Community Allotments group was given the go-ahead to create the orchard.

The committee has received a grant of £3,820 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help create and maintain the orchard, which will provide a valuable space for people from the local area and increase biodiversity in the area.

Sam Deakin, chairman of the Dawley Community Allotments committee, said: “Our long-term aim is still to find a site where we can have proper allotments for people in Dawley to grow their own food - preferably on the old Phoenix School site - but the orchard project is a step in the right direction towards providing sustainable food as well as a tranquil outdoor space for people to enjoy.

“Huge thanks to the National Lottery for this grant, which will help us to buy the essential equipment needed to maintain the site and help the trees thrive.

“Thanks to some fabulous donors we already have a good batch of trees ready to be planted, and we would be delighted to welcome members of the Dawley community along to our first planting day on February 17, when you can dig in - literally - and find out what the project is all about.”

So far, the project team has received 10 trees from Meadowdale Garden Centre in Horsehay, four from Dobbies at Donnington and a pollinator pack from The Conservation Volunteers (I Dig Trees), designed to give bees and pollinating bugs a boost. Dawley Hamlets Parish Council has also provided a grant towards costs.

The trees will yield a variety of fruits, including Czar and Victoria plums, Benita, Alexander and Conference pears, Cox’s Orange, Idared, Discovery, Granny Smith, Egremont Russet and Golden Delicious apples, and Morello and Lapins cherries.

The pollinator pack includes traditional varieties which encourage bees and other pollinating insects, such as crab apple, blackthorn, rowan, dog rose and goat willow, field maple and alder trees.

Two apple and two pear trees, also provided by The Conservation Volunteers, will be planted in partnership with Captain Webb Primary School.

Anyone interested in attending the planting day on Saturday February 17, t takes place from 10am until 2pm all attendees should first email: