Around Ealing Winter 2015-16 - Page 18

TREES Volunteers Mani Dhanda, Martin Raven, Carole Connelly and Tim Uthmann get stuck-in at Southall Park Yours for the picking Mini orchards, with fruit trees and hedges, have been created by community groups with the help of the council – with many more on their way, reports Neelum Bains. I n the past, hedges and trees were used as natural larders of healthy seasonal food – apples, berries and nuts could be foraged locally and were used to supplement shop-bought groceries. These projects – in Greenford, Hanwell and now Southall – are not only bringing local people together, and making areas look more attractive, but also providing nutritional goodies for residents to eat and enjoy free of charge. It involves sections of council-owned open spaces being taken over and given new life. Fruit-bearing trees and hedges that bear nuts and berries are planted, and the groups take responsibility for maintaining them for the community. 18 around ealing Winter 2015/16 FRUITS OF LOCAL LABOUR Pioneering this approach was an orchard in Ravenor Park, Greenford, in 2011. It proved successful and many of those involved were also keen to get their hands dirty on other similar schemes in the borough. The council’s parks team began working with local volunteers on the Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail, to plant a ‘fruit route’ along the canal made up of fruit trees and bushes. The project began by preparing an area along the edges of Hanwell Meadows (Trumpers Field, Jubilee Meadow and Blackberry Corner), for the trees to be planted in. The jobs included clearing wild brambles and weeds and cutting back overgrown trees. Once the ground was ready, 40 mixed fruit trees, including a mixture of apples, pears, and a variety of stone-fruits were planted in spaces along the edges of the meadows. The project members plan to extend this fruit Fruit at Ravenor Park orchard