A request to plant a coppice of trees and a community orchard at Barn Street recreation ground has been approved by Crewkerne Town Council. Councillor Ben Hartshorn of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advised councillors that a local resident had obtained £1,000 of funding from the Woodland Trust and was offering to donate the trees to the council.
Councillors agreed at the May meeting of the town council, held remotely on zoom, that the trees could be planted on the green area near Barn Crescent and Tower Hill Road. The planting of native woodland trees and coppice of hazels would enhance the area and could lead to workshops there, on traditional crafts and skills in the future. Michael Fox was thanked for “a lot of work done” obtaining the funding.
Discussing plans for a community orchard on the same piece of council owned and managed open space, Councillor Robin Pailthorpe mentioned that land adjoining Lyewater Allotments “lends its space for an orchard up there.” Crewkerne Allotment Team (CAT) are keen to develop an overgrown area, which already has some well established apples trees. Their plans also include a community hut, mud kitchen, play area, natural pond and making the land easier to walk around.
Councillor Hartshorn advised that the chance of moving forward with plans for a community orchard at Lyewater Allotments were “slim with progression as difficulty finding the deeds and ownership of land not clear at present.”
Crewkerne in Bloom have been invited to manage a wild flower area at Barn Street recreation ground and will work with four students from Maiden Beech Academy, who have been granted space to establish a well being garden.
Barn Street recreation ground is described on the town council website as “a pleasant green open space, ideal to play games or to picnic.” Concerned local residents are worried that planting a community orchard would be an over development and greatly decrease the amount of green space available for recreation. There are also concerns that the ripe fruit would be picked and used as missiles and that the only space available for the orchard would be against an existing hedge which is mainly shaded from the sun. Any residents who would like to voice their concerns on the planting scheme can contact Crewkerne Town Council by phone on 01460 74001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org