National Trust has joined with Natural England to begin a project to bring awareness and conservation to the traditional orchard. Traditional orchards are in danger of becoming a thing of the past, with most fruit trees now being grown intensively with the use of chemicals and small scale fruit producers having been hit by difficult economic situations over the years.
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The National Trust has announced that over the course of the next three years, they will be working to provide 1000 new allotment sites to help eager growers get digging to provide themselves with homegrown goodness. Sites will range from smaller plots for individuals or families just getting started to larger areas suitable for community growing groups, schools and charities.
The allotment sites will be made available through the Landshare scheme set up by River Cottage Chef and Chicken Welfare Campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which helps wannabe growers get in touch with people in their local area with spare land. The National Trust wants to help some of the 100,000 people currently on waiting lists for allotment sites to get growing, and hope that the land freed up by this new initiative will make growing your own a reality for many new gardeners.
As well as making new growing spaces available, The National Trust wants to recruit more volunteers and experienced gardeners to help the scheme by bringing knowledge and advice to those who are new to the world of veg growing.
So whether it’s the current economic situation and the subsequent tightening of purse strings that has triggered the increase in interest for allotments and homegrown veg, or because people have had enough of not knowing what chemicals their food contains, there is no arguing; thanks to The National Trust, the introduction of these new sites will be a real boost to the communities and people using them.