Teacher Emyr Jones (left) with Steve Jones surrounded by Llanfyllin high school students. Pic by Dewi Morris
Many thanks to teacher Emyr Jones and his Land-based studies GCSE class for their continued hard work on the Cae Bodfach community orchard project. On what was a bitterly cold and rainy day 20 students joined us to start planting the phase three development on this orchard and forest garden project.
Students have designed their own fruit tree guilds, to support the apple trees they are also planting as part of their GCSE project. We planted 7 more apple trees, on M106 rootstocks along with comfrey, borage, mint and other flowering herbaceous plants which will help attract pollinating insects. On our next outing we plant to add black current, raspberry, chokeberry and more fruiting bushes to the collection.
We hope this will grow to be a great community resource as well as something to support local wildlife and help protect biodiversity. Plants we supplied by the Cwm Harry in Newtown who have developed a nursery as part of their Cultivate enterprise to support community growing such as this across the Mid Wales area. We were lucky to have a visit from Emma Maxwell, lead horticulturist from Cultivate, who gave us tips on tree care and planting as well as leading on the planting practical.
Emma Maxwell from Cultivate leads on the tree planting. Pic by Dewi Morris
We are grateful for support from Cwm Harry’s Get Growing proejct, Keep Wales Tidy, Llanfyllin Town Council, Dewi Morris and Sector39 in this project
It is hugely exciting to have the opportunity to build on the work we did with the school and local community last year, planting a forest garden in Cae Bodfach, the community managed field by the health centre car park.
Students from year 11 at the High school have been busy researching forest gardens, the beneficial relationships between plants and working on their own designs. They are planning to enlarge the garden by adding 7 more fruit tree guilds, inspired by the work that was done last year.
The idea behind a guild of plants is the understanding that plants work together, while some like comfrey are deep rooted and can access nutrients unavailable to shallower rooted trees and shrubs, while others like the leguminous plants fix nitrogen and increase soil fertility, whilst the flowering plants help attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.
A good mix of different types of plants not add colour and diversity it also actually helps the garden stronger as a whole. whole
Keep Wales Tidy
The project is supported by a £500 grant from Keep Wales Tidy and working to this budget the students have designed, costed and are now ordering the plants for their fruit tree guilds.
Next up, we will working in the field marking out areas and calculating the correct spacings for the trees before we go ahead and plant the guilds.
A big thanks to Emyr Jones, Dewi Morris and the Land based studies group at Llanfyllin High School for all their work on this project.