Fruit trees planted in re-wilding project in Eastney amid 'huge interest' in Portsmouth green projects

WILDFLOWERS and fruit trees are being planted in a strip of land near the shoreline in Eastney in the latest part of the city to be given a green makeover.

By Richard Lemmer
Sunday, 26th September 2021, 5:04 pm

Dozens of residents and community groups came together this Sunday to begin work transforming the green space along Marine Court.

Coordinated by members of the city’s Climate Action Board, residents have spent the last six months negotiating with the council in order to gain permission to work on the land and secure £850 in funding.

Now re-wilding work is underway to add wildflowers, a range of fruit trees, and a raised garden bed to the area, in a move that volunteers hope will inspire others across the city.

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Volunteers are 're-wilding' a green space near a popular stretch of the Eastney shoreline.

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Portsmouth resident Nick Sebley, a member of the city’s Climate Action Board, said: ‘Wilder Eastney have wonderful plans for this area.

‘If all goes well it will have bluebells and snowbells and fruiting trees.

‘It’s enhancing the area to increase the number of birds and insects and wildlife.

‘We see this as a bit of a pilot project and we hope that it will inspire other groups to do similar things.’

He added: ‘We have received over 20 emails from people all over Portsmouth, with people saying they would like to do something like their part of the city. We’re finding there is a real thirst for projects like this. People have a real backlog of creativity.’

Rewilding projects are already underway in areas including Francis Avenue and Lower Derby Road – and more are sorely needed, according to Southsea resident Jenni Jones.

Jenni, who works for transport charity Sustrans as its liveable cities officer, said: ‘We are green space deprived in Portsmouth. North End, for example, is one of the most green space deprived areas in the city.’

Among those helping rejuvenate the Eastney land are volunteers from the Waterfront Garden Project, Southsea Green Community Garden, and Forgotten Veterans UK.

Helping to build the raised flower bed was Gary Sprakes, a member of Forgotten Veterans who took part in a sponsored camp-out inside a portable toilet in Southsea earlier this month.

He said: ‘We have never been here before – it’s great that it’s bringing the community together like this.

‘It’s put everyone in a good mood.’

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