Residents raise a glass to completed orchard based between Emsworth and Westbourne

Residents are thrilled to see the project complete
Residents are thrilled to see the project complete

The completion of an orchard has been celebrated with the community turning out for a special picnic.

After work began on the orchard, at Hampshire Farm Meadows, between Emsworth and Westbourne, four years ago, the planting is now officially finished. The orchard is home to 66 heritage fruit trees with many being sponsored by nearby residents and dedicated to loved ones.

Created by the environmental group Greening Westbourne, the orchard is a way of preserving heritage varieties and helping local people, especially children, get closer to nature.

As visitors celebrated the completion with cider and apple juice mayor of Havant councillor Diana Patrick, formally declared the orchard complete.

Chairman of Greening Westbourne’s community orchard group Colin Carré said: “We’ve managed to plant all the trees we planned to plant, and the orchard’s finished.

“When we started in November, 2015, it was hard to imagine that we would have such a resource as we have now.”

Many organisations have supported the project from day one including Havant Borough Council, Westbourne Parish Council, Postcode Publications, Westbourne’s Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and tree surgeon Mike Reed.