Westfield Community Orchard - an entirely new endeavour built with Westfield Community Technology College for teaching 7573 City & Guilds Practical Horticulture Skills and Employability and Personal Development Units levels 1 and 2, will soon offer Work-Based Horticulture levels 1 to 3.
Community Orchards provide places for quiet contemplation or local festivities. a reservoir of local varieties of fruit and a refuge for wild life.
Orchards were once widespread throughout the British isles - apple varieties hail from north of Inverness to the edge of Cornwall. Until recently every farm, country house and suburban garden had its own collection of fruit trees.
The acreage of commercial orchards has declined rapidly. In 1970 MAFF recorded 62,200 hectares of orchards in the U.K. this declined to 46,600 hectares in 1980 and further to 22,400 hectares in 1997. This is a 64% decline in 27 years.
Hertfordshire was particularly renowned for cherries and plum production. It is our intention to grow mainly plums and greengages with a few cherry trees.
Our training facilities include not only the Community Orchard but our Sustainable Horticulture, Ecology and Conservation (SHEC) Centre in Hemel Hempstead. We believe that horticultural and woodsmanship education remains the best long term investment in sustainable development that any government or community can make, and we aren't the only ones who believe this. Take a look at what the International Society for Horticultural Science (I.S.H.S.) has to say on the matter.
Horticulture is regarded differently according to the developmental stage of a country and therefore growers may be set quite different goals, such as: nourishing the local populations in situations of extreme poverty; producing food as efficiently as possible to compete in the global market, or diversifying to non-food production activities in highly developed societies. Horticultural systems are quite diverse across the world and are changing, driven by economic development and market globalisation. All these changes enormously challenge the role of education, which has to provide information, knowledge and practice. The focus on technical information gives way to the need to strengthen the socio-economic component e.g. ecological, ethical and social dimensions of horticulture. The excess of information is handled by emphasising critical thinking skills, problem-solving attitudes and decision-making, and by creating innovative learning environments. Horticulturists are well prepared through continuous updating to becoming life-long learners. Modern horticultural education requires teaching staff to combine the mastery of their subject matters together with good didactical and communication skills. Education in horticulture is difficult and complex but it is the best long-term investment for sustainable development.
The Community Orchard is located on land surrounding The Fusion Lifestyle Westfield Community Sports Centre, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 6NS Tel: 01923 245529
Assurability is proud to sponsor the Watford Community Orchard.and Garden.
As a Co-operative Community Interest Company we invest in Social Enterprise, ploughing would-be profit back into the community.for the good of everybody.