Apple trees are planted in memory of nature-lover

From left,  tree consultant Michael Reed, Tim Beasley, Grace Beasley, Phyllis Coleman and Brian Coleman planting trees in Emsworth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (160144-173)
From left, tree consultant Michael Reed, Tim Beasley, Grace Beasley, Phyllis Coleman and Brian Coleman planting trees in Emsworth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (160144-173)

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  • Community orchard between Emsworth and Westbourne is taking shape
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BEAUTIFUL apple trees will provide a lasting legacy to a man who loved to walk at a beauty spot.

An Emsworth family have become the first to sponsor trees in a community orchard in memory of husband and dad John Shreeve, who died last year.

Richard Hitchcock of Greening Westbourne and Rachel Shreeve with one of her family's memorial trees

Richard Hitchcock of Greening Westbourne and Rachel Shreeve with one of her family's memorial trees

His daughter Hermione, one of his four children, planted two apple trees at Hampshire Farm Meadows, where her father loved to walk.

The family also made a £300 donation to the orchard, which is being planted by environmental group Greening Westbourne. Hampshire Meadows is the name given to new public open space next to Redlands Grange housing development.

Around 280 homes have been built on the old Hampshire Farm between Emsworth and Westbourne.

Mr Shreeve’s widow, Rachel, said: ‘The idea of planting the trees was Hermione’s. We decided to ask mourners to make donations in lieu of flowers, giving half to Brain Tumour Research, because John died of a brain tumour, and half to the community orchard.

‘We used to come to Hampshire Meadows a lot and spent a lot of time walking around.

‘He used to enjoy seeing the area at different times of year, and watching the dragonflies and birds.’

Eight apple trees were planted last Saturday, including the Shreeves’, bringing the total so far to 16.

Westbourne’s Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have also been helping to plant the orchard. Brass discs are buried under each tree’s roots, bearing the names of the children who helped to plant it.

Richard Hitchcock, of Greening Westbourne, said: ‘We were very glad to be able to help the Shreeves and overwhelmed by their generosity. We hope having the trees helps them through this difficult time.

‘We hope these are the first of many trees to be sponsored. We’re sure local people will want to sponsor them in memory of loved ones, as gifts, or just to help us fund the orchard. Our idea is to help preserve traditional fruit varieties and help local people, especially children, get a bit closer to the earth.’

To get involved email greeningwestbourne@hotmail.co.uk.