Winford Community Orchard Action Group

by Winford Community Orchard Action Group in Bristol, North Somerset, United Kingdom

Winford Community Orchard Action Group
We did it
On 8th August 2023 we successfully raised £0 with 0 supporters in 30 days

The proposed site on the corner of Chew Road/Regil Lane is being sold. Let's raise enough money to buy the site for the community.

by Winford Community Orchard Action Group in Bristol, North Somerset, United Kingdom

The dream

The field opposite the junction of Regil Lane and Chew Rd on the road in from Chew Magna was used as an orchard in 1885 according to the Ordnance Survey and probably for many hundreds of years before that. For the last forty+ years it has been organic pasture land. In that time there have been three attempts by the various owners to seek planning permission for building which have been refused, not completed after planning advice, or latterly withdrawn. The last application which was for eighteen self-build houses (some three storey) a communal office building and a mini roundabout to give site access, was withdrawn in April 2023.

As a result, the field has just been put up for sale by Killen’s by informal tender on August 4th midday at a guide price of £75,000.

To protect this field, we hope to organise its purchase by crowd funding, and turn it into a community asset such as an orchard to increase biodiversity and increase wellbeing, perhaps with some seating and perhaps a small children’s area.

Why is the site important?

The Conservation & Heritage Officer at North Somerset Council states:

“The site sits within the wider setting of a number of heritage assets which include Grade II* Listed Church of S.S. Mary and Peter, Grade II* Listed Court Farmhouse, Grade II Listed Aqueduct and the non-designated heritage asset known as the Former Miner Arms.

There are key viewpoints of the Church of S.S Mary and Peter available through this site from both Chew Road and Regil Lane. The existing open field allows for a clear view through to the church and its tower and views of the lower rooftops of Court Farmhouse and the collection of historic buildings around the church. These views add to the significance of these heritage assets as you can appreciate their architectural form and the church as a key landmark building in the village. The views also allow for the understanding of the placement of the church within this rural landscape and within the semi-urban elements of Winford.

This section of land has historically afforded these views through to the church and have remained open aside for orchard planting since the first edition Ordnance Survey map from 1885”

It’s could be amazing for the local community

An orchard is a collection of fruit and, sometimes, nut trees often planted among grass full of wild flowers. Just as traditional orchards were often the centre of village life and a cornerstone of the rural economy, community orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees.

They are good for both people and wildlife, offering all-year round opportunities for community activities, from winter pruning work parties to spring blossom days, summer pruning and fruit thinning tasks, summer picnics, autumn picking sessions and apple days.

Help us to raise the money needed

The current landowners, are are putting our site up for sale via sealed tender on August 4th.

We’re here to ask you to kindly give Winford Community Orchard Action Group a chance to buy the site for the community, which will kick start the journey to build an incredible asset for our village. 

The guide price set for the site is £75,000 so that is what we are trying to raise, we know this is ambitious and if we don't make this target we will try submitting an offer of whatever we have raised.

How we see things working

We will attempt to buy the site via sealed tended with any funding raised through crowd-funding and pledges. If we are successful in purchasing the site, first of all we will celebrate! 

Winford Community Orchard Action Group will then work to establish the site as a community orchard. We have had positive feedback from organisations such as Avon Plants Trees who have said they will help support us in this goal.

If we can't buy the site

In the event that we are unsuccessful with the purchase of the site, sadly that will be the end of the  Winford Community Orchard Action Group. It really is all or nothing! 

We will return all donations made via crowdfunding.

It is worth noting that a pay delay will be in place so any donations will not be refunded on the 5th August. Instead they will be held by crowd funder until we know whether or not our bid has been successful. 

If you can’t donate, here are some ideas of things that you can do:

  • Post and share this Crowdfunder page through your social networks
  • Can you think of anybody that you know that might be able to help in any way at all? Please, put them in touch with us
  • If none of the above, tell a friend, just one, you never know where that might lead 🙂
  • Give your time to the project if you have any suitable expertise - from legals and governance,  finance,to comms and pr

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