Cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, pears, strawberries, blackberries and loganberries are among the free fruits people in Leamington’s Old Town will be able to pick - thanks to a fast-growing gardening project.
The Leamington Spa Incredible Edible group, which has been growing vegetables on a patch of land next to the public toilets in Hamilton Terrace for the past year, has for the past few months been sprucing up an overgrown planting area in Christine Ledger Square to transform it into a mini community fruit garden.
The project was launched by Transition Town Leamington member Derrick Knight who, after approaching Warwick District Council, was given the space in Hamilton Terrace to work with. What he and a group of volunteers did there impressed Leamington and Warwick Green Party member Janet Alty so much that she asked him if they could do the same thing for the south of the town.
Derrick said: “We are making good progress in Christine Ledger Square, where there had been two triangles of ground where there had been plants, but they had fallen over each other and it was not being maintained. It was a tangled mess.
“With the help of some neighbours, we have planted cherry trees, redcurrants, blackcurrants, pear trees, strawberries, blackberries and loganberries.
“They are growing all around the perimeter of the site so people can pick the fruit as they are walking to the bus stop or into town. The whole idea is to demonstrate that fruit and vegetables do not have to be hemmed in and fenced off. You can just take it when you want.”
Later on in the year, the group is planning to run cookery classes to encourage people to cook healthy meals and grown their own vegetables in their gardens or windowsills.
Derrick said: “If you plant enough in intriguing areas, then people get used to the idea that fruit and vegetables are not difficult to grow.
“We are now looking at other areas, including the tops of the railway arches in Leamington and a few places in Warwick.”
The group is appealing for more people to get involved with helping with planting and maintaining the plants and trees. The resulting fruit and vegetables are free for anyone to pick and eat.
To find out more, contact the group via its Facebook page: search for ‘leamington spa incredible edible’ on www.facebook.com