“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”, so opined W.B. Yeats and this certainly proved to be the case on Saturday at the Mitcham Community Orchard and Gardens in Fieldgate Lane.
On 16th May, approximately 50 residents came together in response to a call for volunteers to transform the site and they toiled through the afternoon sun to complete the final ground work.
New friendships were formed and the sense of community was noticeably enhanced. The group was honoured by a visit by the Mayor and the Action Day ended with a barbeque and drinks for the deserving workforce.
Initiated in March 2015, the project aspires to convert 1,500 square metres of waste ground, and a fly tipping eyesore, into an exciting new local leisure resource, and by now approximately 100 fruit trees and bushes have been planted, as well as decorative climbers, vegetables and rose beds.
The site plans to open as a free facility over the summer, for rest and recreational activities by the local community and groups. The project also has educational and ecological briefs, to inform locals and children about food production and wildlife. Some of the fruits and vegetables will be unfamiliar to many, and a wild flower meadow is planned.
Mitcham Orchard Volunteer