Happy 2022 to all our friends, partners, helpers, volunteers, community members, to people we know and have already met, or are yet to know! Despite the immense pressures we all faced in 2021, it was a good first real year for COPSE - lockdowns really highlighted the importance of accessible outdoor community green spaces for all of us - and wider recognition and understanding of the climate and biodiversity challenges the world faces, we're sure brought more people to our door (or metaphorical orchard gate!) It's certainly true to say that we have enjoyed every community orchard project we've been involved with.
In 2021, we organised community planting days in Cranleigh, Puttenham, Eashing and Wrecclesham. We held a Community Apple Day and partnered with National Trust volunteers and others to bring in the apple harvest in Haslemere and used heritage apple pressing equipment to press juice and start a cider ferment. We held community pop up consultations at Grayshott and at Liphook and planted the first 12 of 60 fruit trees in a 5 year project to create an orchard trail at the cemetery in Eashing, in partnership with Waverley Borough Council and Thakeham Homes.
In doing so we've played a part in both bringing community together and enhancing habitat for wildlife - community orchards are a win-win for each separately and together - and there's even more to come in 2022. Wassails, Bioblitz, Community Orchard Planting Days, walks and talks are all in the pipeline. Whatever this year brings, one thing for sure is that the Orchard Year (see below) presents lots of opportunity to get outdoors and work together to help create and enhance green space for each other and for the natural world that surrounds us, but needs a little helping hand.
We hope to see you at one of our community events SOON! Any queries, concerns, ideas please do email email@example.com. We'd be very glad to hear from you.
Claire, Gareth, Susan & Andy
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.