Coronation Community Orchard grant scheme launched

A GRANT scheme to fund community orchards in commemoration of the coronation of King Charles III has been launched.

Rother District Council’s Coronation Community Orchard Grant Scheme has been made possible thanks to an award of £49,024.50 from DEFRA’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund.

The fund seeks to create green spaces and connect communities with nature as a permanent reminder of the coronation of King Charles III, linking with the King’s lifelong support of the natural environment.

Grants ranging from £500 to £5,000 can be applied for from the council’s new scheme to cover the costs of planting at least five fruit or nut trees in a new or existing community orchard.

As well as involving the planting of new trees, the projects must also benefit a Rother community.

This could be through engaging the community in the setting up, planting, or maintaining of the orchard, or giving the community free access to the orchard for activities and events, or to harvest the fruit.

Community groups, local organisations and Town and Parish councils are invited to apply for funding from the new grant scheme, which opens for applications on Monday, April 1, 2024.

Projects must be completed, with trees planted and grants claimed, by March 1, 2025.

Cllr Kathryn Field, the council’s portfolio holder for environmental and climate strategy, said: “The new Coronation Community Orchard Grant Scheme will enable people in Rother to come together to plant and cultivate a variety of fruit and nut trees, creating a lasting focal point for community activities.

“The new orchards will also improve the natural environment and increase biodiversity across the district now and in the future, as well as being a wonderful way to commemorate last year’s Coronation.

“I urge community groups, organisations, charities, schools and our local councils who would like to create an orchard for their community to apply for a share of the funding pot.”

Funding will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. The scheme will remain open until either all the available grant funding has been allocated or until Friday June 28, 2024, whichever is sooner.

For more information on the Coronation Community Orchard Grants Scheme and to apply visit Rother Voluntary Action can provide guidance and support with applications to the grant scheme.

Published: 28th March 2024

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