New TOP office in Wales
We’re very excited to be expanding our presence and work into Wales this year. Thanks to funding from the Moondance Foundation, we’ll be replicating our tried and tested model of community orchard development and maintenance in Swansea and the surrounding areas.
In the last decade, areas of Wales have seen a re-invigoration where traditional orchards and local fruit production are concerned. Aberystwyth University recently spearheaded research to safeguard sixty welsh apple varieties by propagating and planting them, in collaboration with the Welsh Perry and Cider association. We’re looking forward to adding to this momentum by getting local communities involved in the wonders of orchards and fruit growing.
Our new three-year project will include planting new orchards and also the restoration of existing ones that need some ‘Tree-LC’! In addition, we’ll be running workshops for schools, training events in key orchard maintenance skills, and fun, family-friendly events aimed at celebrating these wonderful outdoor spaces. We are really excited to welcome two new team members who’ll bbe based in Swansea to oversee these projects.
We know the current social distancing measures may initially affect the efficiency of our new Welsh project and orchards, but we are optimistic about being able to safely plant some fruit trees there this coming winter. Eventually, we will also be developing our Orchard Mentor programme in Swansea, which gives keen and confident orchard volunteers the opportunity to support other orchard groups nearby with their knowledge. We’re excited about strengthening the existing networks of fruit-growers in the area!