Rudheath and Witton volunteers have completed work on a new community orchard, which in years to come will provide free fruit for all – including local Cheshire apple varieties such as Minshull Crab and Cheshire Pippin.
The orchard, off Shipbrook Road on land owned by Northwich Anglers Association, was created as part of The Mersey Forest, the growing network of woodlands being planted across North Cheshire and Merseyside.
The Rudheath and Witton Together Conservation Group teamed up with 1874 Northwich FC Projects Team and national charity The Conservation Volunteers to plant more than 25 fruit trees and to create new surfaced paths, willow sculptures and fencing. Carved wooden seats depicting British wildlife have been designed by local artist Russell Kirk working with the volunteers.
The trees include local apple varieties grafted from scions supplied by Cheshire Landscape Project's orchard project, as well as plum, cherry and pear trees.
Funding for the project has come from local chemical manufacturer INEOS Enterprises through their Landfill Communities Fund scheme, The Big Tree Plant through The Mersey Forest and Weaver Vale Housing Trust.
Cynthia Moore from Rudheath and Witton Together Conservation Volunteers said: "Having fresh fruit on people's doorstep that is free to pick and eat will be fantastic, and we're also looking forward to the orchard being a focal point for community events."
Janet Ward of INEOS Enterprises said: "It's great to support a project that is bringing so many different groups of people together - from anglers, to local residents, to the volunteers who've worked so hard to make the orchard happen."