Community creates free library and orchard

Local residents and groups in Beeston Hill have pulled together to create a ‘free library’ and orchard in the garden at Hillside Enterprise Centre – and it’s not cost a penny.

Last week (Wednesday 28 March 2018) saw youngsters from the Into University programme  working with members of Beeston in Bloom to plant a set of apple trees Рdonated by the Leeds Orchard Project Рin partnership with Tiger 11, who run the Hillside Centre.

The group also unveiled a weather-proof ‘free library’, created for free by local company Posh Fruit Creative. ‘Free libraries’ are places for people to find and leave books, in public spaces, for free – there are a growing number across the city, and the world.

The project was coordinated by Ed Carlisle, who commented:

“It’s always amazing what happens when people come together around a shared goal. A bunch of us agreed we wanted to do this, the resources appeared, people got stuck in, and hey presto. Community work doesn’t need to cost a lot – in fact, it’s often better when we keep money out of it. Massive thanks to all those who helped make this happen – it’s a small thing, but it really seems to have captured people’s imaginations.”

The ‘free library’ and orchard are in the garden outside the Hillside Centre on Beeston Road, and are readily accessible to the public during the centre’s opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, and Saturday 9am-5pm. Please go and help yourself to books at any time, and feel free to leave donations if there’s space inside.


Ed Carlisle is standing as a candidate for the Green Party in the forthcoming local elections. South Leeds Life will publish a full list of candidates once nominations close on Friday 6 April.