Community tree planted to boost healthy eating in Mansfield

A community orchard containing 210 fruit trees has been planted in Mansfield in a bid to encourage residents to eat more fruit as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Members of Mansfield District Council’s Parks team planted 70 pear, 70 apple and 70 plum trees at Ravensdale Local Nature Reserve (LNR), off Barringer Road, Mansfield.

Once the trees are established in the next few years, it is hoped the local community will pick the free fruit and eat more fruit as part of their five a day.

There are a mixture of cooking and eating varieties of fruit. Once matured, one apple tree could produce approximately 280 to 340 apples per year, dependent on weather conditions.

The £2,100 project has been financed by Section 106 money from building developments, with further improvements to the LNR planned. These include additional litter bins, interpretation panels, seating, and improved paths all of which are due to start in the very near future.

To further enhance the area, the existing ancient woodland, dating back to the 1700s has been extended by planting 7,500 Birch, Oak and Rowan trees to increase biodiversity in the area.

Coun Philip Shields Portfolio Holder for the Environment said: “The creation of community orchards is a fantastic initiative. The orchard is a living food bank that will continue to provide fruit for local people for the next 80-90 years. It will also enhance the appearance of the area and the natural habitat for local wildlife.”

The Ravensdale Orchard is the first orchard planted by the District Council on open space within the community. There is an orchard at Carr Bank Park, Mansfield, which contains about 70 apple and pear trees.