DOZENS of people from across Westbourne and Emsworth gathered to plant trees at a new community orchard.
Many of the residents had chosen to honour late family members by planting fruit trees in their memory.
The site, at Hampshire Farm Meadows, off Westbourne Road, Emsworth, now has seven more apple trees, bringing the total to 24.
Bill and Louise Jones, from Woodmancote, near Westbourne, planted a tinsley quince apple tree in memory of their son, Tom, who died in 2013, aged 23.
Mr Jones 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.
Colin Carré, chairman of the group, 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. The group can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
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