Patchwork Community Gardening Group in Bristol is a group of Bedminster and Southville locals who hate to see a useful bit of land go to waste. They meet regularly to turn neglected patches of land into community gardens and keep their existing patches in trim.
Laura from the group told us about how a donation from The Co-operative Bank Customer Donation Fund in 2017 has helped their community orchard to flourish.
"In November 2015 we planted a small orchard on a piece of waste land in Bedminster, Bristol, including apples, cherries, pears, a plum and a damson tree. Over time, we've added more plants, including raspberry canes, fruit bushes and bee-friendly flowers on one side of the orchard. As a final touch, we wanted to brighten up the front of the orchard, which is the first thing people see when they walk or drive past."
"This particular piece of ground has very bad soil with lots of rubble mixed in, so we decided it would be easier on our backs if we put some planters on it. We raised some of the money towards this locally and the additional funds obtained from the Customer Donation Fund allowed us to finish off the project and buy soil and plants for the planters."
"It's great to see how the land has been transformed with the addition of the planters and it has really brightened up the street. When we are there working as part of our regular maintenance sessions – doing weeding and pruning – people walking past often stop to say how much they like the orchard and how much they appreciate our work. As a group we've really enjoyed working together on this project and have been pleased with how quickly we've managed to transform this small piece of land."
"We look forward to seeing the trees grow and be productive and expect to be picking apples, pears and plums later this year! The orchard is just one of the projects we've set up in our local area. In fact we have seven 'patches' that we look after locally. Thanks to the donation from The Co-operative Bank we've been able to buy additional plants for these sites too, so that we can fill gaps and keep them looking attractive."
"This donation enabled us to put the finishing touches to our community orchard, which will be here for many years to come, enhancing the local area for our community and the environment."
Customer case study from 2017
All Community Directplus account holders can apply for up to £1000 from the Customer Donation Fund to support special projects and fundraising activities. The closing dates for applications are March and September, and they will then be assessed in April and October. We will notify you of the outcome of your application. Apply using the form below.
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