A POPULAR Worcester councillor has dug deep in the face of Conservative opposition to create a community orchard for residents in Dines Green.
Coun Richard Udall’s original plan for community orchards across Worcestershire was rejected by Conservative councillors in a vote at County Hall last month.
But the Labour councillor vowed not to take no for an answer and rallied local councillors and community groups to roll up their sleeves in support of the new venture.
Backed by the Worcester Community Trust, the Hope Church and fellow Labour St John’s members Coun Matthew Lamb and Coun Chris Cawthorne, Coun Udall provided £500 from his divisional fund to purchase fruit trees including apples, plumbs, gooseberries, and blackcurrants.
In addition, tomatoes and potatoes have been planted while a flower patch has been created which will help pollinators and give colour to the area.
“People are keen and enthused, so we decided to create your own orchard at the Dines Green Community Centre,” Coun Udall said.
“The Dines Green community came together and helped to plant the trees and plants, it was a great atmosphere and everyone enjoyed themselves.”
Further trees are to be purchased later in the year. Coun Udall hopes to include rare Worcester varieties such as the Pitmaston Pineapple apple tree and even a Worcester Black Pear tree.
“We will not be stopped by petty politics, Dines Green has a great community spirit, such activity like planting trees has brought people together, people who have not seen each other for years were reminiscing about old times, children were playing and even residents who were just walking past stopped and joined in,” Coun Udall said.
“I’m so pleased to have helped, it’s just the beginning, more orchards will follow and we will bring communities together.”