Scrumping in the Sidmouth ‘will never be as much fun again’

Scrumping apples in Sidmouth ‘will never be as much fun again’ – a bid to fill the town with blossoming fruit trees has been unveiled.

Councillor Paul Wright planted the seed for the idea, which will provide residents with free apples, pears, plums and cherries, as well as other fruits most of the year round, at the authority’s latest meeting.

The chamber was told how a lot of councils around the country had been cutting down trees on avenues and roads.

Mr Wright said: “If we were to plant fruit trees – apples and pears and plums and cherries – it would make an attractive feature – look at the cherry blossoms in Japan in the spring.

“We could recreate that type of thing in Sidmouth on a smaller scale, with the added benefit that we have fruit. If we plant it right, we can plant some that are early bloomers, some that are mid-season and some that are late.

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“We could have a constant supply of fruit which would then be free for the whole community to enjoy.”

Mr Wright said he wanted to start around the parks at Manstone and Long Park, as well around schools, before expanding it to the green spaces along the main roads and other bits of public land. He said he hoped it was something they could do in conjunction with Sidmouth in Bloom, Friends of the Byes and Sidmouth Arboretum.

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He also added that the initiative could be done jointly with another town, spreading the idea elsewhere. After hearing the idea, councillors also pitched ideas to plant smaller fruit bushes and herb plants in some of Sidmouth’s open spaces.

Cllr John Rayson said: “This is a good idea and in all fairness, the district council has been doing this in some places.

“If we pay for any apple trees I hope some of the ones we buy will have a local connection. The only thing with having public apple trees is that scrumping is never going to be as much fun again.”

Cllr Louise Cole added: “I think it is an excellent idea and my current point of reference is Cranbrook. They have lots of initiative with growing fruit trees in particular

“An old town working with a new town that might be a nice initiative. It promotes physical activity and healthy eating and of course its multi-generational.”

Cllr Gareth Jones said it was a brilliant idea and he had seen it done in Germany too.

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