Specil engraved marker stone is placed on Torrington Commons to mark the work of former chairman of the Conservators.

A special engraved marker stone has been unveiled on Torrington Commons to commemorate its former chairman,

Michael Collingham retired as a member of the board of Great Torrington Commons Conservators in April 2014 after more than 10 years of service.

In his honour, a small section of the commons has been named Collingham’s Orchard.

Mr Collingham guided the commons during a period when funding was scarce and helped the Conservators to obtain valuable aid from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Before his retirement from the Conservators, Mr Collingham established a wild orchard of endangered native varieties of apple and pear on the commons.

In May 2015 the Conservators passed a resolution to recognise Mr Collingham’s work for the commons by naming this parcel of land as Collingham’s Orchard, the first time such an honour has been conferred by the board.

Current chairman, Steve Jones, said: “I know how much our work is appreciated by those who take great pleasure in walking its quiet pathways, taking in its magnificent views and observing the natural history of this unique piece of Devonshire countryside right on our doorstep.

“Much of that is Michael’s legacy, not least of which is the creation of this special corner of the commons”.

Mr Collingham added: “I feel I should accept this honour on behalf of all past Conservators who have done so 
much to preserve and develop the commons.

“The Conservators can be proud of the unique features of Torrington Commons which include a specimen of every British native tree, home to many scarce fritillary butterflies as well as many endangered flora.”