Newquay Community Orchard occupies seven acres of land gifted by the Duchy of Cornwall on the western edge of Nansledan.
The community-led project has established an award-winning multi-functional communal green space where people from all walks of life can come together to work, rest and play. It is part of a network of green spaces that will permeate Nansledan.
As well as a traditional five-acre organic orchard, the project provides mental health therapy, educational services to local schools and residents, and works to support the local community through events, rehabilitation, job creation and environmentally sustainable economic growth.
Newquay Community Orchard’s employability programme, run in partnership with the Cornwall Learning Partnership and Careers Southwest, has already helped scores of long term unemployed people and those with mental health issues back into work.
Its community volunteering and work experience programmes are designed to create structure for participants and inform important lifestyle choices. Activities include horticulture, woodwork, conservation and events, where people can develop new skills and earn qualifications.
And the orchard offers a horticulture and nature programme, including eco-therapy which uses green spaces to promote mental and physical wellbeing, and a Food for Change programme in partnership with Cornwall Food Foundation which teaches horticultural skills, planting, cultivation and harvest based around the seasons.
There are now hundreds of volunteers who support the orchard, with further developments planned. The Duchy of Cornwall is helping to provide a new building on site that will include a small café, community markets, and drop-in services offering counselling and advice.
An outdoor amphitheatre is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018, catering for more events, and a new woodwork shop is up and running. They are developing relationships with local universities, which will offer research opportunities and practical spaces for developing sustainable business ideas.
Luke Berkeley, managing director of Newquay Community Orchard, said: “Nansledan has a lot of sustainable credentials that we reflect in our own activities. We want to create a space in which people can grow, learn and feel included, and show that it is possible to have environmentally sustainable economic growth. This is at the core of Nansledan’s ethos and underpins what we do at Newquay Community Orchard”.