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Thatchers Launches Its 2023 Community Orchard Project

Somerset cider maker Thatchers is opening applications for its 2023 Community Orchard project today, 4th January 2023.

In the third year of the project, the fourth-generation cider maker has increased the number of apple trees it has to give away, with 500 available to community groups up and down the country.

The project aims to encourage tree planting in both inner city and rural communities by community groups and charities.  Groups can apply to be considered for a bundle of 5 apple trees each by visiting their website here and filling in a simple form, with details of their community group, describing how the trees will be of benefit to them. Applications close on 3rd February 2023.

“Planting trees means so much to us as cider makers, and we want to spread our passion far and wide,” says fourth generation cider maker Martin Thatcher, who planted his first apple tree aged 5.

“We all know that planting trees helps the environment and supports biodiversity but being out in nature is so good for wellbeing too. Over the last two years our project has been able to help residential groups rewild their communities; provide schools with trees for their pupils to learn from; and help care homes create peaceful havens for residents.  We’re looking forward to hearing from community groups again in 2023 and help spread our love of apple trees far and wide.”

In 2022, Thatchers gave away 350 apple trees, to over 50 organisations across the UK, doubling the number it was able to support in the project’s first year.

Thatchers is once again looking for groups, large or small, schools, care homes, communities, who would benefit from growing apple trees, to take part in this project.

Thatchers orchard manager, Chris Muntz-Torres has chosen the varieties of apple trees to be donated to the groups very carefully.  “We have selected varieties that are suited to easy growing and need the minimum of upkeep in whatever parts of the country recipients live,” explains Chris. “Varieties will include Bramley, Scrumptious, Dabinett and Katy, that could be pressed into juice, or of course enjoyed as eating or cooking apples. We will provide stakes, guards and ties to assist in planting, as well as detailed instructions on how to plant a tree.”

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