About 30 people from the Emsworth and Westbourne area gathered at their new community orchard on Saturday to plant more trees.

Seven more apple trees, sponsored by local residents, were planted at the Hampshire Farm Meadows site, off Westbourne Road, Emsworth, bringing the total planted so far to 24.

Bill and Louise Jones, from Woodmancote, near Westbourne, planted a Tinsley Quince apple tree in memory of their son Tom, who passed away in 2013, aged 23.

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, will get another nine trees in February.

Chair of the group 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 local tree surgeon Mike Reed has lent his expertise.

It costs £50 to sponsor or adopt a tree, and dedication plates are £30. All money will go into orchard funds, used to buy new trees and maintain the area. To apply, residents can search “Greening Westbourne” online and go to the “news” section of the site.

The group can be contacted on greeningwestbourne@hotmail.co.uk

Author Anna Tonkin

More posts by Anna Tonkin

Leave a Reply