An old variety of apple grown in Weaverham is set to make a comeback to the area thanks to funding from to funding from the Saltscape Landscape Partnership’s Community Grants Fund and Weaverham Parish Council
Weaverham Community Memorial Orchard will grow Wareham Russet apple trees and other Cheshire fruit varieties and to establish a community orchard.
Mike Hornby, Secretary of the Action Group said, “As this project began in 2014, the anniversary of World War I, the orchard will also serve as a memorial to those who died, were injured or who served in conflicts in the succeeding years.
In order to put our group on a proper formal footing we have registered as a charity and a company limited by guarantee.
We have taken a 25 year lease on close to an acre of land in Thorn Wood, Northwich Road from the Woodland Trust. Ground clearance has begun and we will plant the first saplings this winter. Thorn Wood is open to the public but our land is just part of the open space presently so there isn’t much to see yet. As the land is just over the Hartford boundary, we have secured the support of Hartford Parish Council and the orchard will be known simply as ‘The Memorial Orchard’ .”
Hannah Petrie, from the Saltscape Landscape Partnership said; “This is exactly the type of initiative our Community Grant is there to make possible. We are delighted to support a project that will benefit the local landscape and the people who live here.”
Thirty four baby saplings of certified Wareham Russet variety have been growing in a nursery at Kelsall. These plants are to be transplanted to Thorn Wood on Friday 12th February. Reaseheath College are supporting us in selecting, grafting and growing on the next year’s plantings. This process will take a few years and then the orchard will be completed by using other heritage apples, Cheshire damsons and hazel pears from Acton Bridge.
There will be opportunities for everyone to get involved in supporting the group by sponsoring or buying a tree. Volunteers will also be needed to help in practical work and tasks on the ground that will help make the orchard become a reality. If you’d like to get involved email Mike Hornby or find out more about Saltscape’s Community Grant for your local project, please contact the Saltscape team on 01606 723 160.