AN organisation set up to help communities achieve environmental change is encouraging people to get outside and get involved.
One Planet Matters is holding a series of events at community orchards in south Gloucestershire during February and March, including in Pucklechurch, Blackhorse near Emersons Green, and Bromley Heath.
The organisation is a non-profit community interest company, set up three years ago to help create environmental and social change.
It is instrumental in setting up and supporting local community groups who plant and then maintain community orchards, helping to improve local biodiversity.
The projects link with parish and town councils’ local nature action plans and South Gloucestershire Council’s target of ensuring that every resident lives within 15 minutes’ walk of a community orchard.
One Planet Matters director Kevin Thomas said: “The Community Orchard Programme brings people together, providing outside healthy activities which benefit not only the individual but also the wider community and of course the environment.”
So far schemes supported by One Planet Matters have planted 1,350 fruit trees and 2,000 wildflower plugs.
The organisation has also set up the Growing Communities Network, bringing together community growing schemes, allotment holders and orchards via an app to distribute produce to community food clubs, kitchens, and fridges as well as food banks.
A three-week trial last year distributed 325kg of fresh fruit and 175 portions of fresh produce: this year the network will be supporting charity Family Action’s food clubs, and is inviting growers with surplus fruit and veg to join up.
One Planet Matters has also created a schools network to help create school orchards, setting up growing spaces helping develop the biodiversity of grounds at schools including Blackhorse Primary School, as well as providing support for the curriculum and activities via a biodiversity and growing awards scheme.
So far 18 schools and around 920 pupils have got involved.
In February One Planet Matters is organising community activity days at several sites in south Gloucestershire, including Bromley Heath Orchard in Scantleberry Close on February 20, Oaktree Avenue, Pucklechurch, on February 26 and Blackhorse Road on February 28.
Community activity days will take place at orchards in Frenchay, next to the Village Hall, and in Winterbourne on March 2.
The organisation is encouraging anyone who lives in one of the areas mentioned and wants to get involved to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07378 323380.
More information is also available online at