The Slough Fort Preservation Trust applied to Kent Community Foundation for financial support for a project to create a community orchard in an unused corner of Slough Fort. The new orchard will provide a sustainable supply of hard fruit for local schools, care homes and local people, while bringing new volunteering opportunities and creating habitats for bees and other pollinating insects as well as new hedgerows to support wildlife.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation is very pleased to support the Slough Fort Preservation Trust project with a grant of £2,289 to create an orchard within Slough Fort. We loved their proposed project, as it will not only create a valuable source of fresh fruit for the community but restore a previously lost environment and habitat to encourage the return of bees and birds.”
Keith Gulvin, Slough Fort Preservation Trust, said, “Everyone has been very supportive of this project; Community Service has now cleared scrub and rubbish from the site, volunteers from Allhallows and the surrounding villages have planted the fruit trees, protective hedgerow and put in place stakes and rabbit guards. Our volunteers will also carry out the ongoing maintenance of the orchard. Goatham’s a local fruit farmer based in Hoo, donated the first twenty fruit trees which are now established. We are hoping for a limited harvest this year with a full crop in 2022. This is an exciting project which will provide fresh fruit for the local community and we are very grateful for the support from Kent Community Foundation to help us make this happen.”