Fruity offering at local park as 25 trees are planted in new community orchard

DIG Bruno Freire helps to plant
DIG Bruno Freire helps to plant
Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

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GREEN-fingered volunteers have helped to create a community orchard by planting apple, pear and plum trees.

Schoolchildren and local rotary club members rolled up their sleeves and took part in a planting day at Oaklands Park in Chichester.

A total of 25 trees were planted.

The community orchard will provide fruit for local residents and visitors to the park.

More trees are likely to be added at a later stage.

Youngsters from Jessie Younghusband Primary and Lancastrian Infant schools in Chichester also planted a wildlife hedge.

The hedge is made up of a variety of plant species including blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, silver birch, rowan and common oak and will attract mammals, insects and birds.

The orchard is the brainchild of members of environment group Transition Chichester.

The group wants more trees to be planted as they offer a range of benefits, such as attracting wildlife, providing shade and cooling, helping to improve local air quality and reducing flood risk.

Councillor Eileen Lintill, in charge of leisure and well-being at Chichester District Council, said: ‘The community orchard will promote biodiversity and, as the years go by, provide fruit that people can pick for themselves while bringing people together.’

The orchard has been designed with the help of Chichester Festival Theatre.

The project is supported by three rotary clubs – Chichester, Chichester Priory and Chichester Harbour rotary clubs – which have paid for the trees.

Next spring a wildflower meadow will be created to encourage pollination.