They’re all digging in

This Is Wiltshire: The East Locality team, residents and Rangers are to plant an  orchard on Saturday. From left, locality facilitator Tracy Scott, residents Carole Brownlee and Hilda Bushnell and Ranger David Boase The East Locality team, residents and Rangers are to plant an orchard on Saturday. From left, locality facilitator Tracy Scott, residents Carole Brownlee and Hilda Bushnell and Ranger David Boase

A MUDDY construction site in Park South is set to be transformed into a blossoming community orchard this weekend with a little help from local residents.

Swindon Council’s Ranger Team has teamed up with the East Locality Team, Oak Tree Primary School and a team of residents to help transform Cavendish Green opposite Cavendish Square into a community asset complete with an orchard of plums.

Now the group is appealing to residents to come along and help the team plant the first 12 trees.

Tracy Scott, Localities Facili-tator, said: “We want to get as many residents as we can to come along and help with the tree plant.

“It used to just be a piece of land and we asked people to find out what they wanted to do with it, and everything that will be here is a result of that.

“There will be a children’s play park there away from the houses so that the people living there won’t be affected by the noise.

“There will be a circular seated area with something in the middle of it which represents the community.

“They also wanted an orchard which is what we will plant on Saturday.”

The Ranger team have also been on hand to develop the green space.

David Boase, a member of the Ranger Team based at Coate Water, said: “We will be planting 12 semi-mature plum trees.

“They are relatively easy to look after and people will be able to eat the fruit from them eventually.

“It’s not just people which the orchard will benefit but also the wildlife.”

Eventually it is hoped that the space will be a resident-run green area for all the community to enjoy.

Hilda Bushnell, who helped to kick start the project, was pleased the orchard would soon be in place.

The 79-year-old from Park North said: “I had a bit of a moan really about the state of the area and that something should be done about it.

“One thing I was concerned about is that there shouldn’t be any benches because they could attract anti social behaviour, that's one of my main concerns.”

Carol Brownlee, events organiser at Swindon Walcot and Parks community group, said it might take time but it is hoped that youngsters in the area will eventually take ownership of the green areas in their community.

She said: “It does take a while for them to take ownership of the beautiful things in their community and take responsibility for caring for them, but I am sure they will eventually.”

The tree planting session will run from 10am until 1pm.

Call 01793 466239 or email swindonsouth@swindon.gov.uk

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