Children in Atherstone will be able to plant the fruits of the future thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund.
The £1m Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund is allocated by Warwickshire County Council and supports a wide range of small, community-powered initiatives across Warwickshire in addressing the climate change emergency.
The Woodside Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) in Atherstone has been awarded £18,500 in Green Shoots funding to deliver their Fruits for Future project, which aims to engage children and the wider community with the natural world by:
- Creating a community orchard; and
- Utilising facilities at a local school to share the produce.
Fruits for Future aims to plant 100 new trees and 150 soft fruit producing plants around the entire perimeter of Woodside Church of England Primary School in Grendon, Atherstone. A mixture of different species of trees and plants will be used in order to secure the future of harvests for
generations to come and the project aims to be a huge source of free fruits for the wider community beyond the school.
The 100 trees, in addition to providing new habitats for wildlife to increase the biodiversity in the area, will also deliver the following environmental benefits:
- Extract an average of 2,603 Kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per year;
- Produce an average of 3,400 Kg of Oxygen per year; and
- Capture an average of 2,600 Kg of harmful particulate matter from the atmosphere per year
The new community orchard will be supported by a sharing hub using a community pantry-model where local people can come to help themselves to produce from the trees, plants and herbs. The hub will take the form of a purpose build cedar shed with integrated green roof and shop like counter for the children to serve from, which will be built by the railings at the front of the school. Contributions will also be welcome from gardeners from local allotments who have more home-grown produce than they need and want to share it with their local community.
Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “Fruits for Future is yet another superb example of the power of community that is found across Warwickshire and makes our county a fantastic place to live, work and play.
“Not only will the new community orchard increase biodiversity in the local area and contribute to reducing the amount of harmful CO2 in the atmosphere, but the community pantry will also give local residents access to free, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables all year round.
“It would be brilliant to see more of these community orchards and sharing hubs springing up around the county as together we strive for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”
Kayleigh Bray, Chair of the Woodside Parents and Teachers Association, said: “Receiving these funds has meant the world to us. Not only for our school but for the community that this will help in the future.
“Our local community always come together through hard times this project will also see children learn how to grow fruits and vegetables and also teach them to help others and give back. The children are really excited for this as they cannot wait to start planting and seeing things grow and of course eat them.
“Not only that, we have an amazing eco-committee at the school who are eager to help us and also our fabulous Flo, who is all about saving the earth and teaching us about recycling and improving what we do.
“I would also like to add that there will also be a mixed fruit orchard and wildlife area and a permaculture orchard. There will be unlimited free fruit for the children and the whole community. We cannot wait to update you all with the photos and the progress that we are making on he project.”
More information about the Woodside Parents and Teachers Association can be found online: https://www.woodside-ce-school.co.uk/web/who_we_are/450422
A full list of projects that will receive Green Shoots Community Climate Change funding can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/regeneration-projects/green-shoots-community-climate-change-fund-2022/5
For more information about the Fund, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund
For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/
Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf