Phoenix gives roots to community orchard

A new community orchard has been established for residents of Kinghill and Tullybrannigan areas in recent weeks with the seeds for the orchard’s success sown by a team of volunteers from Phoenix Natural Gas.

Designed to provide a place for residents to come together, learn about the environment and grow fresh produce that can be shared across the whole community, resulting in neighbours being more connected and crossing age, religious and social divides.

The Phoenix Natural Gas volunteers gave up their time on one of the coldest and wettest days of the year to prepare the groundworks for the community orchard, working alongside Tullybrannigan resident and orchard organiser Darren Rice.

Speaking about the new orchard Darren says: “With people spending more time than ever at home we wanted to create a safe and sustainable place where residents could get together and grow together. We were really pleased to receive the support of Newry Mourne & Down Council, Bonnie’s Caravan Park, Mourne Heritage Trust and Phoenix Natural Gas to make the community orchard a reality.”

Phoenix Natural Gas has been supporting communities across East Down as it extends access to the natural gas network to 28,000 consumers in the area.  Speaking about the importance of giving back to the communities it serves, Jonathan Martindale, Director of Business Development at Phoenix Natural Gas says: “A fundamental element of our business plan is to get active and involved in the communities we connect to the natural gas network.

“We were delighted to help the Kinghill and Tullybrannigan Community Group create a beautiful space for residents where they can grow and harvest together and which will be an asset to the community for years to come.  Protecting and preserving the environment is important to us at Phoenix Natural Gas and in addition to the environmental and efficiency benefits householders make when moving to natural gas, we continue to look for opportunities where we can add environmental value to the communities around us.”

Environmental Responsibility is a core element of the Phoenix Natural Gas Responsible Business Programme, full details of which can be found at: