Swedenborg Square Orchard has received the runner up award in the Pollinators section of the BIG Challenge 2014 awards. The BIG Challenge, organised by CIRIA*’s Biodiversity Interest Group, is to ‘do one thing’ for biodiversity. The challenge invites developers, communities and landowners to add one new biodiversity enhancement to a construction site, development or existing building.
The community orchard on St George’s Estate was designed and planted by Trees for Cities, working with EastendHomes and residents. Local volunteers planted 58 fruit trees in February 2013. Then in the autumn of 2013, strips of cornfield annuals were sown between the trees. These produced a spectacular display of colourful flowers in summer 2014, attracting lots of bees and other pollinating insects. The design ensures that the orchard looks great for residents looking down from surrounding blocks.
The orchard was named as the second best project to benefit bees and other pollinators, from a field of over a hundred high quality projects. Details of all the entries, several of which are from London, can be seen on the BIG Challenge website. Full details of Trees for Cities’ entry for the orchard can be seen here. The orchard was also featured in the 2014 progress report on the Tower Hamlets Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
*CIRIA is the construction industry research and information association.
Header photo: Paul Wilson/EastendHomes