ITF are delighted to have received a very positive half year report from the ELHAP Heritage Orchard Preservation Project. The scheme is managed by our project partner, Trees for Cities who are working with Redbridge council and the staff and young people of East London Handicap Adventure Playground (ELHAP) to lovingly restore and transform an old orchard.
The project, based in the London Borough of Redbridge, aims to transform an overgrown and unused woodland area into an interactive space that is accessible to all ELHAP users. The final design will divide the woodland into four ‘hubs’ each which will provide different opportunities for learning and play. For example in the fire hub, which has been completed, the users have the opportunity to take part in activities such as fire cooking. ELHAP users have been involved in the planting so far – planting trees, clearing the undergrowth and helping to create a den which forms part of the ‘wild play hub’. We have created the pathways which mean the woodland is wheelchair accessible.
The ELHAP Heritage Orchard Preservation Project has already produced a number of very encouraging results and the project stakeholders have developed a plan for the woodland which goes far beyond the original plan of regenerating the orchard.
Ten fruiting trees have been planted which will add to the existing orchard area in the woodland. Trees for Cities have also delivered several fun workshops at the site, engaging a total of 44 people.
The transformed site has provided ELHAP users with new opportunities, such as learning about habitats and practical activities such as tree planting, which were previously not something the users would have had the opportunity to do. As the project grows it will benefit several hundred other people in the local area.
Finally, Trees for Cities have already begun the important task of planning for the future use of the site, working with the playground and Vision Redbridge to put together a comprehensive woodland management plan.