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Community orchard to open in Capel Manor thanks to four funding bids
A community orchard will soon grace the grounds of Capel Manor College thanks to four successful funding bids.
Forty of the 150 apple and pear trees in Forty Hall Farm in Forty Hill, which is in the college’s grounds, have already been planted.
The final trees will be planted in November by volunteers and school children from Enfield schools during National Tree Week.
The Forty Hall Farm Orchard has received a total of £2,500 from Capital Growth, Money Team London, Big Tree Plant and the Tree Council’s Community Tree Campaign since last November funding to pay for the project.
A team of approximately 30 volunteers have worked hard on the orchard, which was previously empty land in the estate, since November.
Volunteers will decide how to use the fruit crop, but ideas include using the produce to make fruit juice and cider for local sale.
Orchard volunteer Paul Dart said: "It's not just about the money. Each successful funding bid also gives us confidence that we are doing something that others find worthwhile.
“I find myself walking up to the orchard fence during the week, looking over and thinking ‘I did that’.
"You don't need to worry about being a volunteer. It’s a good group of people and no one will ask you do anything you are not comfortable doing.”
He said the only frustrating thing is waiting for the trees to grow and is looking forward to the first crop.
The orchard will be used as a teaching tool for students at the college as well as encouraging people to eat local produce.
Volunteer Mark Mendez, 66, said: “The orchard is great for the community and a way to encourage those who are retired to be involved in a community project, not only are there physical health benefits but its mentally stimulating too.
“At the farm it’s like being in the middle of the countryside, yet we are only a half hour away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”
Once the trees are planted, volunteers and students from Capel Manor College will work together to ensure the orchard is well maintained.