Cannington Community Orchard Receives Funding
Since the 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in large retailers, Tesco has announced proceeds will go to good causes locally and nationally as part of their Bags of Help initiative. Seed of Hope, a therapeutic gardening project is a not-for-profit joint venture with The Walled Gardens of Cannington, and has been selected to receive some of the funding for their Spring Orchard Project, based at Cannington’s Community Orchard, which is owned by Bridgwater College.
Over 5,000 organisations applied and Seed of Hope is one of three regional finalists, going on to a public vote in Tesco stores between Saturday 27 February and Wednesday 6 March. The finalist in first place will recieve £12,000, second place, £10,000 and third, £8,000. People will be able to vote for Seed of Hope locally in Tesco Express stores in Bower Manor, North Petherton, and Cheddar and in the Burnham-on-Sea superstore.
The aim of the Spring Orchard project is to revitalise the orchard, to improve access and develop the aesthetics of the area, which will hopefully lead to an increased use of the orchard. The second aim is to provide the opportunity for 12 people with mental health problems, from diverse backgrounds and locations across Sedgemoor, to benefit from Seed of Hope. Participants will have the opportunity to gain a City and Guilds Level 1 qualification in Practical Horticultural Skills.
Plans have been made to clear overgrown areas, which will provide views of Cannington Brook and the Quantock Hills. Planting improvements to the environment will include colour, scene, food, and habitat throughout the seasons for wildlife. A bench will also be installed for people to sit and reflect, and the old pump house will become a wildlife hide. There will also be art and illustrations to explain the triumphs and challenges of the recovery journey of mental health and the experience of mental distress.
The orchard currently allows the local community to use the area for functions, as well as learning opportunities for Bridgwater College students. The produce grown in the orchard, which includes fruit and herbs, is free for people to enjoy. The money from Tesco’s initiative will go on materials for the pathways and plants. Bridgwater College will loan some equipment for the project.