Fruit and Nut tree planting in the Rea Valley – a community interfaith walk
On Sunday August 16th a group of about 25 people gathered (at a distance!) in Stirchley Park to hear about the ‘Fruit and Nut Village’ that has been created in the River Rea Valley. It is the work of a group of charities concerned to both improve local people’s well being and to promote awareness of the range of edible fruits, nuts and vegetables that can be grown, even in public spaces.
We looked first at the historic varieties of fruit trees being grown in Stirchley Park, including some grown from successful grafting on to existing trees, such as a hawthorn. We were surprised to see edible flowers, fruits and vegetables being grown nearby, and then moved on to the Rea Valley cycle and walking route. Many local residents are not aware of how much work has been done by local groups to plant fruit and nut trees along the valley and to create a wild garden. There has been some vandalism – apples being picked before they were fully ripe – but the valley is gradually being transformed into a productive space open to all who wish to benefit.
The project is a demonstration of skill and faith in human nature at a time when it is sorely needed. It has been especially welcome in the last 5 months when our lives have been restricted in so many ways as a result of the Covid 19 virus. We are grateful to Rob Tilling and Felipe Molina who gave their afternoon to explaining their vision and its progress so far, and we wish them well.