Swaffham garden scheme chiefs hopes open day will attract volunteers

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An open day will be held next week for people to find out more about, and possibly sign up to help, a community gardening scheme in Swaffham.

The event is being hosted by Family Action, which encompasses the Escape Project and Friends of Swaffham Orchard, at the Tumbler Hill allotments and the Orford Road orchard next Friday, July 18, from 1pm.

New volunteers are currently being sought to join the project and Friends’ co-ordinator Katy Fullilove said: “We are really looking forward to meeting more of the local community and showing them some of the great work that goes on up here.

“There is always a warm and friendly welcome, and we have tried to create a space that has something for everyone, so we’re hoping for lots of visitors.”

Earlier this year, the scheme, which works with people with learning disabilities, won an £83,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to renovate the orchard’s polytunnels and enable the area to grow heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables.

Some of the produce is now being offered for sale at the town’s regular farmers’ market.

Other attractions on the day will include a plant sale, children’s wildlife activities and demonstrations of traditional crafts including green woodworking and scything. Pizza, made in the project’s new cob oven, will also be available.

Adults are invited to attend from 1pm, while families and volunteers can go along between 3.30 and 5.30pm.

The charity works with a number of community groups, including the town council, the Iceni Partnership and the Swaffham Community and Leisure Gardeners Association, as well as the Garden Science Trust and the Master Gardener Programme.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should either attend the open day next Friday or telephone on 01760 720302.