New trees planted on disused piece of land as Community Garden is unveiled
- Credit: Rachel English
Ambitious plans to transform a disused patch of land with a new community garden has taken a significant step forward.
A scheme to unveil the Carlton Colville Community Kitchen and Wildlife Garden in Lowestoft received a boost at the weekend.
With a community tree planting day held on land at The Graylings, off Elmdale Drive, in Carlton Colville on Saturday, more than 40 people turned out for the latest phase of works.
It saw 16 heritage fruit trees planted to create a Heritage Orchard as part of the works, after willow structures had been planted in November to help make a living willow structure.
With volunteers, councillors, family, friends and children all turning out at the Carlton Colville Community Garden, holes were dug ahead of the trees being planted, mulched and watered in less than two hours on Saturday.
Organiser Rachel English said: “What an amazing turn out.
"I am so pleased with how many people turned out to help.
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"It was great to see all ages there and they worked so hard to plant the trees, led by the ‘Greener Growth’ team.
"It was their team who did all the real hard preparatory work of planning, seeking funding, ordering trees, delivering them, and providing tools and the knowledge.”
The early beginnings of the project stemmed from a visit to the community garden nearby.
Mrs English said: “I visited the Kessingland Community Garden for a storytelling session in August 2020 and thought it was a really nice facility to have.
"I immediately thought about the piece of land at Carlton Colville close to where I live which is underused, so I contacted the Town Council and suggested that maybe we could consider doing something similar on this piece of land.
"They investigated who owned the land and got the necessary permission to proceed."
After contacting ‘Greener Growth’ - the community interest company who oversees the Kessingland site - Mrs English added: "They agreed to come and have a look at our site and see what we can do.
"They organised the project and applied for a lot of funding from various places.”
Over the past couple of months, the project has gathered pace - with the first stage of the scheme seeing a willow tunnel and a willow arch planted on November 21.
Mrs English said: "Greener Growth cut the willow from one of their community gardens in Southwold and brought it to our site where it is becoming established and is coming along nicely.
“Phase two took place at the weekend when community volunteers planted 16 heritage fruit trees including apple, pear and plum.
"The idea is for the community to enjoy the fruits when the trees mature in a couple of years.”
District and county councillor Craig Rivett - deputy leader of East Suffolk Council representing Carlton Colville and a Suffolk County councillor for Pakefield - helped with the planting.
Mr Rivett said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the response from the community.
"It is an ambitious project that requires quite a bit of funding.
"I was able to support with my district and county community funds.
"It was great to see people start the work before Christmas, but to see so many people respond for the planting was great.
"When complete the garden will be a great addition to this play area and with the tree planting it is progressing nicely.”
Mrs English added: “The next phase will be clearing a part of the garden, pruning three existing apple trees and making some pathways through them for the children to play hide and seek once it’s cleared.
"There is going to be a wildflower meadow, picnic benches and a raised pond and some raised beds so we can grow more fruits and vegetables.
“We do need volunteers to continue to maintain what we are doing."