Orchard planting adds seven trees to new site
More trees have been planted at the new community orchard for Emsworth and Westbourne.
A special planting event at the Hampshire Farm Meadows site on Saturday brought the total number of trees so far to 24.
About 30 people from the area gathered to see seven apple trees, sponsored by residents, go into the ground during National Tree Week.
Bill and Louise Jones, from Woodmancote, near Westbourne, planted a Tinsley Quince apple tree in memory of their son Tom, who passed away aged 23 in 2013.
Bill said: “It’s just something to remember Tom by. He lived close by and he liked the outdoors.”
The orchard, set up by environmental group Greening Westbourne off Westbourne Road, Emsworth, will get another nine trees in February. The orchard is part of new public open space next to the Redlands Grange housing development, near the county border between the two communities.
Chairman Colin Carré said: “Local people are really getting inspired by this project and like the idea of sponsoring a tree in memory of someone, or to mark a special occasion. A tree also makes a great Christmas present.
“We only started off with a handful of trees but now it’s really starting to look like an orchard.”
The goal is to have around 60 fruit trees on the site, with benches nearby.
The idea of the orchard is to help preserve traditional fruit varieties and help local people, especially children, get a bit closer to the earth.
Havant Borough Council and The Tree Council are major supporters of the project and Westbourne tree surgeon Mike Reed has lent his expertise.
It costs £50 to sponsor or adopt a tree, dedication plates are £30. All money will go into orchard funds, used to buy new trees and maintain the area.
Mr Carré added: “We launched the sponsorship scheme in the summer and it’s been very successful. It’s great to see the orchard get bigger and bigger.
“Some local families have sponsored trees for very personal and poignant reasons, such as remembering a loved one they have lost.
“A tree would also make a great Christmas present – a gift that enhances the environment and will be there for years and years.
“Growing food locally reminds us that it doesn’t always have to be flown thousands of miles across the world.”
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