Progress with planning for the Walled Garden
The pre-feasibility study identified some potential options for development of the Prudhoe Hospital Walled Garden as a community asset. The development of community owned bungalows on site as an income generating proposition is one option that needs further study. The idea of running a community café on site also needs to be developed. In general, the idea of a childrens’ nursery was not so popular based on survey results and will not be pursued at this time.
We are now looking for funding to conduct a full business plan for the development of the walled garden as a community asset. As yet, no funds have been secured.
We are in discussions with the Homes and Communities Agency and Gentoo (the site’s developer) and both of these organisations are supportive of the community’s aspirations to manage the Walled Garden as a local asset. In the coming months we will continue to search for funds to take this project forward to its next phase of development.
Access to the orchard
Recently some members of the community visited the orchard along with representatives of the Homes and Communities Agency and the local contractor (Simon Brough, Tyne Valley Woodlands, below) who will be doing some fruit tree maintenance this winter. It was agreed that fairly major pruning work is needed on the trees in the garden. This will be conducted by the local contractor over the winter months. The Walled Garden steering group will use this opportunity to obtain some scions from the trees that are pruned. These will be used at an upcoming grafting workshop in Fenham to create new trees from the old varieties in the garden. This will allow replacement of the existing trees in the walled garden with fresh stock when the old trees reach the ends of their productive lives. Watch this space for more on this activity.