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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Antrim apples – plans to plant orchard in town

Antrim-based Muckamore Allotment Association is to develop a community orchard by planting 51 apple trees at Greystone Allotments.

The community group has been given the support of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, and through the Living Spaces and Places strand of the National Lottery Community Fund, on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure, will “create more sustainable and resilient outdoor spaces”.

If successful, the association intends to plant 51 apples trees, some in the communal grass area and on two vacant allotment plots at the rear of the site.

A report to the council’s Operations Committee said that the development of an apple orchard would be of great benefit to the site in terms of community cohesion; fresh produce for the community; visual impact and the attraction of bees and other pollinators to the site, particularly during apple blossom time and would be included in the council’s ‘One Million Tree’ programme.

The report noted that the vacant allotment plots have proven to be “too problematic to cultivate over the years, due to their liability to flood”.

The local authority has agreed to provide assistance with planting during winter months.

Meanwhile, an application to the DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) Small Woodland Grants Scheme will see 6,185 native trees planted at Valley Park, Newtownabbey, Burney’s Lane, Glengormley and Rathcoole Leisure Park thanks to a grant of £12,500.

The Woodland Trust’s More Hedges Grants Scheme will fund saplings and hedging at Threemilewater Park, Newtownabbey and Wallace Park, Templepatrick at a cost of £3,168 with additional council expenditure of £1,056.

In addition, the local authority will spend £5,000 planting trees at Neillsbrook, Crumlin Glen, Mossley Pavilion and the Newtownabbey Way near Global Point.


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