Newquay Community Orchard will be an open access public space that provides workshops, food security, apprenticeships, and community events to Newquay and it's surrounding areas. Please visit www.newquayorchard.co.uk for more information.
Urban Biodiversity CIC, is a newly formed community interest company that aims to put an end to social deprivation by developing urban sites into places that offer a fair chance for all.
We aim to provide education, job opportunities, food security, environmental protection, community building, and community projectsthat engage and empower local communities with the skills and opportunities to improve their surroundings for the betterment of their health and wellbeing.
Our directors and management committee have a wealth of skills and experience in ecology, horticulture, mental health, events, and business and finance, from job roles including managing director of Crowdfunder, to manager of the areas of outstanding natural beauty sites at Cornwall Council, to the lead horticulturalist at the Eden Project. We have also formed partnerships with the Cornwall food Foundation and Duchy College in order to deliver high quality apprenticeship opportunities. All our graphic design is done by our very talented designer Amelia Berkeley.
What is our idea?
We have been donated a 7 acre parcel of land right in the heart of Newquay in which we will create a multifunctional space that provides education, job opportunities, food security, and an environmental legacy to the surrounding community.
The site is made up of a 4 acre traditional Cornish orchard, a cob walled Victorian style community growing space, a sensory garden, an educational amphitheatre, and a community building consisting of a classroom, cafe, and events space overlooking our events amphitheatre.
The site will have a strong educational focus with workshops for local schools and residents. There will also be mental health day care in the form of horticultural therapy, as well as apprenticeships, job opportunities, and environmental job skills. One very important aspect of the site is the events, which will range from community gatherings to festivals and farmers markets.
The site is designed to showcase a range of techniques including forest gardening and permaculture, highlighting what is possible in urban areas. We want there to be more sustainable use of urban land where people can learn to be more self sufficient.
Food skills are life skills. There has been an alarming reduction in food skills and peoples understanding of the food growth process over the past few generations. We are now dependant on supermarkets and monocultures. We hope the Community Orchard will deliver a new way of thinking.
Why are we Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is important to us as it gives our community the chance to be involved in the development of the site from the very beginning. The money raised will allow us to fund the early stages of the site development with the purchase of all the materials and trees along with the equipment necessary to complete the planting.
We hope to have the planting completed ready for spring and to welcome visitors into enjoy the new surroundings. The Duchy of Cornwall has agreed to match every pound donated up to our £15,000 target.
The Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is delighted to offer its support to this excellent project conceived by Luke Berkeley of Urban Biodiversity. It bears three notable hallmarks.
Here is a practical and enduring scheme which for generations ahead will raise awareness of how traditionally produced food is good not just for people but for the wider environment and the natural world.
The project will also afford a good opportunity for both practical and academic education. Learning about both husbandry and the use of local food is really important if we are to be able to live our lives sustainably. This scheme fits in so well with Nansledan's overall food strategy where we want all planting to be not just beautiful but also useful.
And thirdly the Community Orchard is situated at the cross roads between Nansledan and Newquay. Combined with the wonderful new Tretherras Allotment Association gardens and the Sports Centre this strengthens the opportunity for a really important social dividend. The Community Orchard will help to forge strong links from the outset between the existing community and the new one which will be established at Nansledan over the next thirty to forty years.
Tim Gray - Estate Surveyor to the Duchy of Cornwall November 2014
Cornwall Food Foundation/Fifteen Cornwall
Alongside the Duchy of Cornwall, the Cornwall Food Foundation is proud to be supporting Urban Biodiversity in the creation of Newquay Community Orchard as a new community asset which will make a major contribution to the development of land, growing and food skills and employment in the Newquay area. This is an important project in the wider planned food strategy for Cornwall and offers its fastest growing town a real opportunity to retain authentic rural connections. Given Cornwall's agricultural heritage and current economic frailty, we believe that the wider impacts of this project, and those planned for the future, will provide a platform for Cornwall to fulfil its potential as a leader in sustainable food production. The benefits of the community orchard are much wider reaching than the food production process, with a strong emphasis on social inclusion and education, which will improve socio-econmomic conditions and promote better health and wellbeing. The Orchard represents a community asset for the town, a place safe from development that will deliver food security, environmental security, recreational space, and community events. It is a vital cog in the process of changing public perceptions and reskilling people in relation to the food production process, particularly highlighting the important relationship between sustainability, biodiversity, food production and community engagement, with an emphasis on local self sufficiency. The loss of food skills over the past few generations is staggering. We are now dependent on supermarkets and monocultures. The multi functionality of the orchard space promises to provide a different way of thinking.
Matthew Thomson - CEO Cornwall Food Foundation/Fifteen Cornwall