The orchard will cover 3.75 acres with 75 trees to mark the 75th anniversary of Grantham and the district’s role in D-Day and Arnhem, plus 2020 as the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe. It offers an inspirational opportunity to commemorate the past with a living orchard, illustrating aviation and airborne forces heritage alongside green space, fruit growing and healthy living. Every tree will symbolise not only passing of the years but the strength and diversity of a shared spirit. The orchard will be an information and education tool for a time in history immortalised in film and archive; a focal point for people to remember and reflect amidst the peace and beauty of a flourishing orchard. Schools will be involved in planting and harvesting with the opportunity to use the area for outdoor learning. Leased by the National Trust to the district council, it will be a valuable green and productive space in the centre of Grantham, with community harvesting and increased biodiversity.
What we'll deliver:
- Transform pasture into a beautiful commemorative orchard
- Create an aviation and airborne forces memorial to the county
- Provide an outdoor educational resource of traditional fruit trees
Why it's a great idea:
Aviation heritage is commemorated locally, but there is currently no publicly accessible site for interested parties to congregate and learn more. Orchard interpretation boards will illustrate the United States Army Air Force pre-invasion strike behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day, the role of nearby St Vincent's Hall with both British & American forces, and the activities of First Airborne Division in the build up to Arnhem. Schools will be able to use it as a nature and educational resource and it will offer opportunities to increase the Wyndham Park volunteer pool of 60/80 people and widen available activities. Biodiversity will be increased by fruit trees and wildlife-friendly hedging and fruit from the orchard offers community opportunities for picking and fruit crop uses. It will link with the Woodland Trust local proposals on tree planting, and walking / cycling routes. The site will open up possibilities for adjacent nursery, infant and additional needs schools.
Steps to get it done:
- Community tree planting (end of February / beginning of March)
- Official Launch scheduled for V E Day 8th May 2020
Our Heroes Orchard has the potential to deliver valuable benefits, not only as a living memorial and a delightful new green space in the heart of town but also as a valuable information and educational resource. It represents the latest step in a programme of aviation heritage awareness and activity conducted by South Kesteven District Council working alongside the internationally recognised Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire. It has forged links with key military contacts - echoing the United States Army Air Force Troop Carrier Command presence in 1944 - and the Cambridge Military Cemetery, where US personnel are buried. Lincoln’s International Bomber Command Centre, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and nearby Newark Air Museum are further links. Aviation activities have prompted keen interest across the community and from further afield, including special interest groups and schools. Overall the orchard will be a commemorative flagship for the town and the district.