• Fundraising to rebuild Highbury Orchard after arson attack!


    From the team at Highbury Orchard:

    “Highbury Orchard in Birmingham has suffered another fire. There seems to have been a break-in beforehand. The damage is so extensive that they will have to suspend some, if not all, of their activities. The garden is in good shape; the bees have all survived (thanks to whichever firefighters moved the hives!) and their recently constructed workshop is intact. The metal sheds are beyond repair, and will have to be removed, along with other metal waste. Along with their secure storage, they’ve lost all of their materials, tools, gazebos, tables, and shelving. Without that, they can hardly run their regular sessions.”

    Highbury Orchard is a Community Interest Company running woodland projects on the Highbury estate, Birmingham that help people connect with nature. These currently include Community Orchard Workdays, Stick Around for adults managing their own well-being through conservation and crafts, and Woodland Play for families with 0-8s, learning together.

    Highbury Orchard Community directors Liz Wright, David Papadopoulos, and Trustees atChamberlain Highbury Trust have made a brief joint statement:

    “We believe the restoration of Orchard project facilities will be most effective if the business community gets behind the wider Highbury restoration effort, if only because of the scale of work needed. It will take perhaps five years to complete the wider restoration of the estate, of which, a significant portion goes to support community initiatives like Highbury Orchard Community. So far there is £1m towards a total target of £8m. There are any number of ways that larger organisations and donors can make a difference.
    For now, we all agree the urgent need to secure a base at Highbury to provide space and storage to support the community enterprises and volunteers who give so much of their time to the ongoing restoration and activities programmes. While the directors and project leaders are galvanising people on the ground to keep the gardens and activities going, we want the wider community to know that there’s a bigger picture too. Highbury belongs to all of Birmingham; it’s yours to enjoy, and to sustain. The future of this precious place is in your hands. Please come forward, whatever your level of interest.

    So far the orchard group have had offers of tools, labour and a JustGiving page has been set up to help raise funds.

    A group discussion called From The Ashes – Highbury Orchard Phoenix Group has been set up on Facebook.

    For all enquiries about the future of Highbury please contact Sarah Siena Edwards Vice Chair of The Chamberlain Highbury Trust on 07904 324 500 or send an email to: [email protected]


    Posted on 13th May 2019