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Free fruit tree course at Ben Rhydding community orchard

Bradford Council has teamed up with Fruit Works to provide monthly fruit tree sessions which will start in January in Ben Rhydding, people can look forward to learning new skills and take steps towards growing their own food.

The aim is to help communities build a more sustainable future by giving people the skills to grow their own fruit and care for and maintain the trees. Fruit trees also absorb carbon and provide food for pollinating insects, such as bees.

Fruit Works is a Leeds-based co-operative social enterprise which specialises in planting, pruning and propagating fruit trees.

The courses will include pruning, grafting and scything. The following courses are now available:

  • Saturday, 9 January - Formative Pruning, Ben Rhydding Community Orchard, Ilkley

  • Saturday, 27 February - Restorative pruning of older and neglected trees, Keighley

  • Saturday, 20 March - Bench grafting, Rockwell Community Centre, Thorpe Edge, Bradford

  • Wednesday, 21 April - Top grafting, Horton Community Farm, Little Horton, Bradford

Further courses for the summer and autumn will be confirmed later on. To register an interest, contact Fruit Works via the Fruit Works website.

There will be a limited number of free places for people on low incomes or those caring for school or community orchards.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places, said: “These courses are a great addition to our sustainable development work in that they will equip people with the skills to become more self-sufficient. Being able to grow and maintain fruit trees will help communities for years to come and at the same time provide a greener environment.”

Gini from Fruit Works said: “In the face of climate change and increasing disconnection from our food production, creating resilient local food systems is more important than ever. Fruit is much easier to grow than vegetables, making it a great starting point for anyone new to producing their own food. We believe that with a little know-how, anyone can plant and maintain healthy, abundant fruit trees.”


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