Fruits of their labour

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Fruits of their labour

Posted: 13/01/2007 13:54:55

With sights set optimistically on warmer weather to come, green fingered gardeners in Ilfracombe have been double-digging, riddling and raking to prepare their allotment for a variety of fruit trees, bushes and tulips this year.

A not for profit community scheme supporting people with learning disabilities has been given funds by Devon County Council to buy two dwarf apple trees, one dwarf pear tree, three gooseberry bushes, two bilberry bushes, 2 loganberry plants and 50 tulips.

The Mayor of Ilfracombe, Janice Donovan, and local Devon County Councillor for the town Cllr Geoff Fowler will be planting one of the fruit trees at the Wilder Park allotment near Tyrell Hospital, at 2pm on 18 January.

Paul Williams set up the scheme for people with learning disabilities last year to provide a recycling scheme for commercial waste such as aluminium cans, ink toners and cartridges. That has expanded to include garden and environmental work in and around Ilfracombe.

Paul and his team have now adopted an allotment previously used by Devon County Council as part of day services provided from Two Lanes in Ilfracombe.

The community scheme supports 15 people with learning disabilities, and Devon County Council hopes that people they are helping to get work experience will also be able to enjoy the allotment.

Paul's wife Sharon who manages the allotment part of the service said:

"The scheme builds on the good work started at the Council's day centres at Two Lanes in Ilfracombe and Silverhill Lodge in Barnstaple. With their help and help from the Town Council we have been able to expand the scheme and we're now really pleased to take on this wonderful allotment.

"The fruit bushes are really appreciated, and we're keen to get them in the ground as soon as we can, and to start our enjoyment of them. Growing things has always been hobby of mine - it can be a great pleasure and something that people who use our service will really enjoy."

The Mayor of Ilfracombe, Janice Donovan, said: "I am very pleased to see the Community Resources Group expanding in this very necessary work with these special people. The planting and caring for these trees will give purpose, satisfaction and a real sense of achievement especially when the fruit is harvested. The Town Council is proud to have had the opportunity to support the Fruits of their labour."

County Councillor Geoff Fowler said: "I'm very pleased that I can support this group, they do a fantastic job around the town already on the cleaning and recycling front. Now they can turn their attention to literally seeing the fruits of their labours.

"It also comes at a very opportune time when so many of our older trees and bushes are being removed and not replaced. I wish them a very "green fingered" success."


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