History of our Orchard
Making Jesmond a better place for all of us
In March 2009 a few local residents called a public meeting to see if there was sufficient interest in creating a community orchard in Jesmond. This followed some discussions with council officers over suitable sites in the area.
The Cemeteries Officer, Ken Scott, was very helpful in helping to find a site, and agreed that the unused corner of St. Andrew’s cemetery could be made available. The land had previously been used for equipment storage, but was now overgrown.
Residents agreed that it was an ideal site. It is accessible to the general public, but also sheltered and undisturbed, a quiet corner within a busy suburb.
Members of the new group were keen to do much of the work themselves, and some working parties started clearing the weeds, but soon discovered that the site would need mechanical clearance of old concrete and building foundations before it could be planted. They called upon Groundwork Trust to help prepare the land for planting.
In July 2009, The Groundwork Trust moved huge quantities of concrete and foundations from the site, and laid a flat area with slabs of concrete which have been recycled from the grounds of a redundant church in Walker. Three benches were placed in the area which catches the afternoon and evening sunshine.
The First Apple Day
On Sat 17 Oct 2009 families and individuals came together to celebrate all things Apple. Organised by the Jesmond Community Orchard and Transition Initiative Newcastle, 60 people came together for games and tastings.
In the December of 2009 the first batch of 13 fruit trees were planted on the site. With a good turn out for a winter’s day, everyone enjoyed the event.