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Ide Community Orchard

The Victorian Orchard is three and a half acres of ancient apple orchard right on the edge of Ide village. Dating from the middle ages, it survives unploughed; and has been neglected for the past 40 years.

Spurred on by discussions for Ide Neighbourhood Plan, the Parish Council decided in 2017 to try to buy the orchard from the Church Commissioners, to use as a village amenity and run as a community orchard: Ide has so little public open space compared to her town and city counterparts.

For now, Andy Bragg is renting the orchard on the Parish Council’s behalf, allowing us to plant new trees, look after the old ones, and prevent further damage to the ground from grazing. But it cannot be open for public access until we own it

By purchasing the orchard we could give free access to open land close to home, encouraging physical activity in attending to the trees, grass and hedges. We would organise harvesting and juicing the crop as a community effort; hold outdoor communal events; provide a place for relaxation, education and reflection; and protect the heritage, ecology and integrity of a cherished part of the neighbourhood.

The cost of the land is £62,050, plus £11,560 VAT which we must pay but can reclaim. To date we have raised £7,680, to help cover set up costs, with a further £907 donated by working group members for 72 new trees planted in January 2020.

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The first step is to seek support from the village community, so we are calling on you as a resident of Ide to make a donation.
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