RESIDENTS raised a glass to mark the official launch of a new community orchard on the Emsworth and Westbourne boarder.
More than 30 people gathered at a cider-tasting evening on Sunday to launch the project to set up an orchard on new public open space next to the Redlands Grange housing development in Emsworth.
The idea of the project is to help preserve traditional fruit varieties, provide local environmentally-friendly produce and help residents get a bit closer to the earth.
Organisers Greening Westbourne, a local climate change action group, is hoping it will be a joint project to benefit both communities. The plan is to get trees sponsored by local people – maybe in remembrance of a loved one, or to celebrate a birth.
The event was hosted by the White Horse inn in Westbourne, and included a cider-tasting competition.
Residents are being encouraged to attend the first meeting of an orchard steering group at 7.30pm on April 21, at the Meeting Place in North Street, Westbourne.
Greening Westbourne chairman Colin Carré said: “It was great to meet people interested in the idea, celebrate the launch and have some fun.
We now need to form a team to run the project, get fundraising and get down to work. Anyone with useful skills is very welcome to join the ‘core’ team.
“We’d love to hear from anyone who is a good organiser, or who can keep on top of a bit of admin, or who has experience of fundraising. Maybe they know something about planting trees, or making cider, or have good web skills.”
To contact the project organisers, residents can email
For more information they can search Greening Westbourne online.