In partnership with our client, Southern Housing we recently transformed a Community Orchard in Faversham, Kent. The project was overseen by Andrew Day, Senior Contracts Manager, and his team of Ground Workers: David Day, Bradley Emms, and Nigel Blackshaw.
Earlier this year, the local Parish Council took charge of maintaining the 13 young fruit trees that were planted in the orchard. However, with the absence of a nearby water source, the orchard faced the challenge of sustaining the young trees, compelling the council to seek an effective solution. This led to the collaboration with our client, Southern Housing, who put forward the project as part of our social value commitments.
They looked for Axis to provide a rainwater harvesting system, as well as a shelter for residents to enjoy throughout the year.
Andrew shared his thoughts and said, “The main interest in this project was that the community were involved. People have made friends while clearing the land, planting trees. So what they were doing was aligned to many of the Axis values. This project has already had value with schools and clubs. From everyone involved this has been there favourite project so far, why? We can all see what an asset the orchard will be and the positive impact it is already having and will have over many years. So, when asked if we could assist with some shelter and water retention we came up with the shed for tools, storage of seeds and protection from the elements for the volunteers. We set up guttering so water could be reclaimed and stored into 200ltr drums we have 1 drum at present, but more can be added and linked so the orchard next year could have up to 1000lrs available for watering”.
Axis has been an amazing partner for Southern Housing, enabling us to facilitate this installation for the benefit of all our community residents,” stated Kerri Briffitt, representing Southern Housing, in high praise of Axis’s contribution.
The newly implemented 800-litre water tank, integrated with a robust base, is poised to provide a sustainable water supply for the fruit trees, ensuring their healthy growth and the thriving ecosystem of the orchard. Moreover, the wooden shelter, complete with a sloping roof, guttering, and comfortable seating, serves as a welcoming space for residents to use throughout the year.
Exciting developments continue to unfold, with plans to replace the fencing around the orchard’s outer perimeter.
View captivating snapshots of the journey here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/150894466@N06/2i0Q0473z1
Join us in revisiting the process through our video: Oare Community Orchard – YouTube