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Planting An Orchard In Bristol

By Sara Venn

The Bristol Incredible Edible’s have been busy working in the Fishponds community for the last 5 years.

After lots of consultation with the community and the team working on the garden, last weekend replanted the gardens as an orchard. The gardens at Edible Fishponds are by the side of a busy road and next to bus stops and a parade of shops, so whilst there has been no actual vandalism, there does tend to be quite a lot of rubbish that ends up in the spaces, so it was decided something that would be less work whilst still a community asset and one that supports nature in the community as well as people.

On Saturday the group set about making the change and offered the opportunity to people to come along and get involved as well as learn how to plant a tree, stake it and give it the best start in life. It was freezing cold but a group of incredible people planted nine beautiful fruit trees that included apples, pears, plums and greengages. The trees are already 2 years old and so are at a good stage to be planted as bare root trees and establish fairly fast. It’s hoped that within a couple of years the trees will be fruiting well and creating a great harvest for the community.

In the new year the trees will be joined by lots more wildlife friendly plants. The group will plant lots of herbs as well as some meadow planting to ensure that there is plenty of forage for pollinators. There will also be some native plants added so that there are places for insects, butterflies and moths to lay eggs and successfully reproduce which is something often lacking.

Incredible Edible Bristol have supported the planting of orchards all across the city. There are eight small to medium sized urban orchards across the city that have been catalysed by the group, which adds to the other community orchards that already exist behind closed doors. These orchards are not just supporting fruit harvests in the city, but also nature and creating a larger urban tree canopy across the city, supporting climate change and creating edible landscaping. They are also creating spaces in communities where people can come along and learn about good tree planting and pruning skills, ensuring that the spaces are healthy and that they thrive.

We’re excited to see how it establishes and grows. Would you like to tell us stories from your Incredible Edible group? Get in touch through the website and we’ll tell your Incredible tales!!