Eaton & Cringleford

Community reaps dividend of new orchard project

Just Regional
Jun 3, 2024 2 mins read

On a rather damp Friday in early May, parishioners, councillors, representatives from community groups, and members of the developer, Barratt and David Wilson Homes, plus invited guests gathered to celebrate the opening of the new community orchard in Cringleford. Newfound Community Orchard is a collaboration between the Parish Council, the John Innes Foundation and the developer at Cringleford Heights and has been five years in the planning.

The orchard is named after the area that dates back to the 16th century when a ‘new-found’ band of clay was discovered on the site.  This led to the building of several kilns on the land, initially for brickmaking. By the early 18th century, however, the kilns had fallen out of use and the land had become a farm, including an orchard. The previous owner of the farm, before it was developed for housing, was the John Innes Foundation who support research just down the road at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park.

It was fitting, therefore, that Peter Innes, the Chairman of the John Innes Foundation and the great grandnephew of John Innes (who left funds to set up the Foundation more than 100 years ago) opened the orchard. Children from Cringleford CE VA Primary School’s Gardening Club did the honours and held the ribbon for Peter to cut and open the orchard officially for the Parish Council. All the roads on Cringleford Heights are named after notable people from the John Innes Centre’ s past, and we were delighted to welcome some of their relatives who had travelled across the country to be at the opening.

The apple, pear and cherry trees in the orchard were all bred at the John Innes Centre during the last century, and seventy were especially grafted and grown for the orchard. Adjacent to the orchard are allotments for parishioners to rent. The orchard and its surrounds will form a pleasant leisure space for the community of Cringleford Heights to enjoy, to watch the orchard grow and, in a few years’ time, even to share the fruit.

For further information contact the Parish Clerk (clerk@cringlefordpc.org.uk).

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