The active village group Gunnislake Community Matters has plans to be even busier and greener this summer. Details of their horticultural plans can be seen on the GCM information stall at the second St Piran’s Day Festival in the Village Hall on Saturday 2nd March.

GCM has signed up for the Royal Horticultural Society’s It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme. It’s a unique scheme for volunteer-led community gardening projects which are focused on cleaning up and greening up our local area. It’s all about bringing members of the community together to make a positive change to where we live. Gunnislake will visited by RHS assessors in the summer who will provide valuable feedback and helpful advice – and hopefully the village will receive an RHS certificate of achievement.

Chairman of GCM, Ross Hanley, said, “We are thrilled that, as a community, we have already met the project’s core pillars of community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement with a number of other local gardening projects. There’s the flourishing Gunnislake Railway Station, the village car park and village hall planters, the Millennium garden, St Anne’s Church borders and Gunnislake Primary Academy’s wiggly hedge and den on Foster’s Field.

To officially ‘kick-start’ this RHS project, volunteers are developing a community edible garden. The idea of the information stall at the St Piran’s Day Festival is to consult with the community on where this garden should be sited. Residents will be able to vote for their chosen site. Hopefully, volunteers and sponsors will also come forward. Once voting has been counted, there will be an open GCM meeting on Wednesday 13th March in the Village Hall to finalise these exciting plans.

There are six apples trees with strong local heritage links waiting to be planted. They’ve got some wonderful names and characteristics: There’s Breadfruit, a dessert apple Miel d’or, a second early honey sweet dessert, both from the Tamar Valley, Cornish Pine, a mid to late dessert, Callington Gillyflower, a mid/late dual purpose apple, Cornish Aromatic, a late – after Christmas – sweet/sub acid dessert apple and Longkeeper from a tree in Luckett, a heavy cropper, very late dual purpose apple.

The horticultural advice is to leave unpicked the apples in the first season as this will ensure more fruit in later seasons. In the second season anyone in Gunnislake can pick-your-own apples. There are also likely to be planters on the chosen site with other edibles to enjoy as the seasons progress. Carol Green, project leader for GCM said, “The hope is that as a community we will create greener, cleaner surroundings and develop a pride in our achievements. The aim is that all ages will enjoy working together and benefitting from our effortts. We look forward to talking to members of the community on the 2nd March, any time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.”