Steyning’s Community Orchard
Steyning now proudly has its own Community Orchard located on the Memorial Playing Field. Visitors can wander through a traditional orchard of carefully selected heritage trees, and be welcome to pick from a variety of delicious fruit. Some may enjoy the fruit eaten straight from the tree, whilst others will perhaps make good culinary use of their bounty. The Orchard is for the benefit of the whole community and people are encouraged to sample the fruit.
How it came about
Steyning Community Orchard (SCO) was established early in 2014. A Steering Group was set up, including professional horticulturalists, biologists, retired business people and an arboriculturalist. We are all volunteers
The objectives are to replant (hence help preserve) old Sussex varieties of fruit, help educate and promote to residents (both young and old) the health benefits of growing and eating fresh local fruit, to hold demonstrations and training sessions in fruit tree and orchard management, to hold community events in the orchard, and to investigate potential areas in Steyning where we could establish other orchards.
Our first project has been to rejuvenate the old orchard area of the Memorial Playing Field here in Steyning. This is a picturesque spot with deep fertile soil, ideal for fruit trees, sandwiched between the South Downs and the Cricket Field.
Our second Project is the renovation of an old 1930’s orchard on the outskirts of Steyning at Primrose Court, an older peoples’ sheltered housing development. There were originally over 50 fruit trees in this orchard, but few now remain. With the enthusiastic support of the residents and Manager, we have made a start by planting 8 new trees including apples, plums and pears.