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Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund: Sydenham Memorial Orchard

Sydenham in Leamington Spa will be getting a new memorial orchard, 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.

Sydenham Neighbourhood Initiatives at the SYDNI Centre has been awarded £1,601 in Green Shoots funding to create a small community orchard of 21 fruit trees. In addition to providing tasty fruit for the local community, this orchard will also serve as a poignant memorial to the following people:

  • Mota Singh, who was instrumental in the creation of the SYDNI Centre;  
  • Lilian Brocklehurst, a dedicated volunteer at the SYDNI Centre since its inception, who recently passed away; and
  • Kate Cliffe, who was an inspirational manager of the Centre for thirteen years, leaving last year. Kate will be remembered by the planting of Katy apple trees.

Throughout history, orchards have played an important role in local communities, providing a focal point where people and nature can successfully work together. They create abundant harvests, provide fresh fruit to the local community and an environment for local wildlife to thrive. Orchards also contribute to reducing food miles and carbon emissions from transport.

The estimated environmental impact of the 21 fruit trees, once matured, will be:

  • To extract an average of 547 Kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per year;
  • To produce an average of 714 Kg of Oxygen per year; and
  • To capture an average of 546 Kg of harmful particulate matter from the atmosphere per year

The SYDNI Centre Gardening Group and members of the local community will be involved in the creation of the orchard and will take responsibility for watering the young trees in the early days.

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “The Sydenham Memorial Orchard is one of the smallest projects, in terms of monetary value, funded by the Green Shoots Fund, but it’s potential for impact to the local community is huge.

“In the past many of our neighbourhoods have been built around community orchards. Once a tree is established, it can provide a large yield of fruit year after year for decades, requiring little human input. As deep-rooted, long-lived perennials, these trees have time to adapt to local conditions and be more resilient and benefiting the local environment.

“It will be fantastic to see this project reach maturity, providing delicious fruit for the local community whilst delivering positive environmental benefits.”

Cllr Will Roberts, Trustee and lead for the community gardening group at the SYDNI Centre, said “To be able to create a memorial orchard in the centre’s green space is an amazing project. Not only is it an opportunity to remember people who were at the heart of our community. It also means the SYDNI Centre is doing its little bit of the puzzle to challenge the Climate Emergency, whilst providing local residents the chance to enjoy free fresh fruit. I know the centre’s cafe is looking forward to taking advantage of the cooking apples that will be grown.”

More information about the SYDNI Centre can be found online:

A full list of projects that will receive Green Shoots Community Climate Change funding can be found here:

For more information about the Fund, visit: 

For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit:

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:

Published: 9th March 2023

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