School children have planted over 100 fruit bushes and a micro-orchard of fruit trees in North Acton Playing Fields this January as part of ARTification’s project, Edible Acton.
A green asset for the community, this field will provide an exciting addition to picnics in North Acton during the summer months as well as a vital habitat for birds and insects. Created with generous funding from The Tree Council, this new nature corridor has given life to a previously unused border on the West side of the playing fields, now populated with thornless blackberry’s, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries as well as a host of fruit trees – Comice Pear, Laxtons Superb Apple, Sunburst Cherry and Merry Weather damson.
Children from Holy Family Catholic Primary School and St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School planted the field over 2-frosty, muddy days, carefully spacing out the plants and energetically adding nutritious mulch to the soil. Despite the plants being in their winter state, without fruit or flower, excitement was already mounting for the months and years ahead, as one pupil commented, “I can’t wait to have a birthday picnic. I’m going to visit every day in the summer”.
Giving children the opportunity to pick-their-own can be a great way to spark an interest in fresh, locally available food, whilst learning about the benefits for wildlife. Mr McCloskey, the Eco-Council leader at Holy Family Primary, reported how active stewardship enhances pupils learning, “As a school, we were fortunate enough to be involved in the Foraging Field. Members of the school Eco Council were given a vital opportunity to move into action to develop their local area and work alongside experienced professionals to understand the environmental impact. Being involved in a local project such as this, has enabled our pupils to consider how they can further work to improve the futures of others in the world; whilst leaving a lasting legacy in a small part of Acton.”
This is part of ARTification’s Edible Acton project, which aims to increase access to locally grown food and growing spaces for all communities. The Foraging Field has been made by and for the community, started by local school children and now in the care of all local residents. Our gratitude goes to all the partners and friends who made it possible, including the funders at The Tree Council, Acton Gardening Association for their contribution of beautiful, locally grown fruit trees and Greener Ealing and Ealing Park Rangers for laying the groundwork for the project. We welcome the local community to continue sharing and supporting, to help the plants and trees thrive so that we can enjoy them for years to come.
If you would like to learn more about Edible Acton and get involved in growing projects, contact ARTification at info@Artification.org.uk.
About The Tree Council
The Tree Council is a national charity (number 279000) and membership organisation which brings everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and our planet’s future. They inspire and empower organisations, government, communities and individuals with the knowledge and tools to create positive, lasting change at a national and local level. They are helped in their work by thousands of volunteer Tree Wardens and a growing force of Young Tree Champions. For more information about their work, visit www.treecouncil.org.uk.
There are opportunities to help with the care of the Foraging Field and other community food growing projects in Acton. Please contact ARTification at info@Artification.org.uk