Volunteers put their green-thumbs together in Newtownmountkennedy

On Saturday 24th February, the Newtownmountkennedy Tidy Towns planted 50 heritage fruit trees across the town as part of a project they are calling a ‘Dispersed Community Orchard.’

Inspired by similar initiatives in Navan and Monaghan Town, the group went about planting small pockets of fruit trees dispersed across all the estates and green areas in the town. These trees, which will be abundant with fruit, will benefit pollinators, birds, and the local community.

The project was created by Newtown Tidy Towns vice-chair and Social Democrats local election candidate Danny Alvey.

“Thank you so much to everyone who came out and helped us plant apple, pear and plum trees in the Newtown GAA pitch, Garden Village, Kiladreenan Close, Sycamore Drive and Mountain View Drive,” said Danny. “The project is a fun way to teach everyone about the benefits for nature and your own health from growing your own food, especially children. We have another 40 trees to plant over the coming weeks in the rest of the estates in the town and one in Roundwood.

“Here in Newtown, it will complement well the wildflower corridor that we created last year, with eight patches sown across the town. And when the trees start producing fruit in years to come I hope we can have a community event to collect it all and make jams and desserts.”

The project was funded by a tree grant from Wicklow County Council and sponsorship from local business Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company, who also had volunteers along on the day.

“I’d love to see similar initiatives like this in every town and village across the county,” said Danny. “Growing our own food and making use of locally foraged fruit was once much more common in Ireland and if we are to have a sustainable future on this island and planet its something we will need to return to. There are so many benefits for nature, food security, our physical and mental health and also our sense of community spirit. If elected to Wicklow County Council in June I will be making initiatives like this a key feature of my term as a local public representative.”

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