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Small orchard given new life

Published: Thur, 23 Oct 2014
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Children from local schools helping Housing Executive staff and community representatives makeover the orchard
A small orchard in the Caw/Nelson Drive area has been given new life, thanks to the joint efforts of NIHE, the local community group and schoolchildren.
The Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group and our Grounds team have been working together to create a space for residents to enjoy and relax on the estate and recently enlisted the help of school children from Ebrington, Lisnagelvin and Oakgrove Primary Schools to help with planting.
We have invested over £3500 to create a herb and fruit garden on the estate. In addition to the eight apple trees and shrubs which were already on the site, it has been transformed to create a relaxing community area packed with a wide variety of herbs and fruit to include red and blackcurrants, gooseberry bushes, thyme, sage, rosemary.
The new herb garden will be known as the Marie Curie Herb Garden after it was agreed that the former Marie Curie daffodil garden would be incorporated into the project.
Informal hebes will also be planted to attract bees and butterflies, a lavender walkway with surrounding pergola will be created and informal seating will be installed so residents can relax.
Stephen Proctor, our Grounds Supervisor, said:
“Together with the local neighbourhood officer Roslyn  Colhoun and strong support from Linda Watson from Caw/Nelson Drive community group we have transformed the area into a more usable space for the local community to enjoy.”
Patrick Duddy, our Social Education Officer, is ensuring that children from local primary schools will also be involved and already they have been on site to do some planting.
The garden will be used as an educational tool in the future with children encouraged to set up bird boxes, bug hotels and use the fruit and herbs that are produced on site.
Linda Watson, Co-ordinator for Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group, said:
“We were so pleased to have the support of the Housing Executive to help transform the area. The garden will make a real difference to everyday life in the area. There is a tangible sense of community spirit which I hope the garden will sustain and encourage.”