Barnsley YMCA Community Orchard
Our vision is to develop two orchard spaces that will be used by young people from Barnsley YMCA and a local training agency:
- An ‘urban orchard’ that will be a piece of traditional Yorkshire heritage, with drystone walls and heritage varieties of fruit trees, built and cared for by local young people. The creation of this “urban orchard” would provide a delightful surprise, a pocket of Yorkshire countryside amongst the hurly burly of the town centre, viewed by passing students, shoppers and theatre goers. The orchard would provide a wildlife haven for insects and birds. We will build a rain-water harvesting pond – great for wildlife and an embodiment of the sustainable food production message.
- An ‘allotment orchard’ that will be an extension on our existing allotment to add variety, increase productivity and enable young people to develop different skills and explore more creative ways of growing fruit. We also want to create structure and to make the allotment more aesthetically pleasing as a place for reflection and quiet time.
These orchards will provide real life opportunities for young people to learn traditional skills such as dry stone walling, grafting, pruning, harvesting, storage and preserving. It will also provide a space where the young users can interact on a joint project with older volunteers from organisations such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, engendering cross-generational understanding, co-operation and mutual respect.