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Community Orchards Are Booming In England

It wasn’t all bad

Such orchards have helped revive ‘lost’ apple varieties that are rarely sold in supermarkets

Community orchards are booming in England thanks to a renewed interest in living off the land sparked by the Covid-19 lockdowns. Claire Matthes, who has set up more than a dozen community orchards in the past two years, said that many of the apples from this year’s bumper crop will go to local meals-on wheels services or food banks. The orchards are also helping to revive “lost” apple varieties that are rarely sold in supermarkets, such as the Bloody Ploughman and the Beauty of Bath.

Lost dog makes 4.6-mile trip homeA rescue dog that got lost while chasing squirrels in a wood on the outskirts of Bristol trotted 4.6 miles across the city to get home, navigating busy streets and even the Clifton Suspension Bridge. When Libby Bowles noticed that Pip was missing, she had a “sick feeling”, but she posted a notice on an online message board, and was soon getting alerts from people all over the city who had spotted the dog, a podenco. By the time she got home from her search two hours later, Pip was waiting for her. “It makes me cringe to think of him crossing the big roads and a big roundabout, but somehow he did it,” she said.

Hedgehog ‘highways’ help creatures flourishHedgehogs are flourishing in the Nottinghamshire village of Keyworth thanks to a community effort to create “highways” for the creatures. Residents of Dale Road cut 42 holes in their garden walls and fences to allow the animals to roam. “We had a lady on the street saying that she hadn’t seen any in her garden for 30 years, and then suddenly after we drilled some holes they started appearing,” said one resident. “The hedgehogs help to build the community… and the community then helps the hedgehogs in return.”