New Mills community orchard wins Green Flag status for 12th year running

A much-loved green space in New Mills which provided a lifeline for residents in lockdown has retained the international quality mark which it first received more than a decade ago.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:30 pm

Volunteers at the New Mills community orchard, near High Lee Hall, will once again be raising a Green Flag Award this year after meeting the benchmark for the best managed parks and green spaces across the United Kingdom and beyond.

Featuring apple, pear, plum and cherry trees, the orchard was planted in 2006 to provide locally grown organic food and a valuable learning resource for residents, schools, and voluntary groups.

Lance Dowson, chairman of the Friends of New Mills Community Orchard, said: “This is wonderful news particularly because it’s the 12th year in a row that we have won this award, which is some form of record as most recipients win one or two and then relax and fail to maintain the standard or fail to improve on the previous year.

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Sisters Marli and Casey Hadden pick the ripe fruit on apple day at the New Mills community orchard.

“I wish to thank our small and dedicated team of helpers and our wider community for the ongoing support they give to our orchard. I also want to give particular thanks to Steve Lewis, parks manager at New Mills Town Council, who was instrumental in getting the orchard established.”

He added: “We saw at our recent apple day how much our orchard is valued by our community when lots of families, young people and other members of our community turned out to support us and enjoy the orchard on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon.”

The Green Flag scheme is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Government, and this year presented 2,127 awards to sites as the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, Woodhouse Park in Peterlee and Chiswick Old Cemetery in London.

Awards manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making the orchard worthy of a Green Flag Award.

“To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that the New Mills community orchard has high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”

For details on how to get involved in the orchard, see www.nmco.org.uk.

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