Community orchard takes root
Our community orchard has taken root at Hampshire Farm Meadows, the public open space next to the Redlands Grange housing development.
Around 50 residents from Emsworth and Westbourne joined to plant the first eight trees in November 2015. The orchard group of Greening Westbourne worked to complete the task and by February 2019 we had hit our target of 66 healthy heritage trees on this lovely site.
Richard Hitchcock, chair of Greening Westbourne (pictured), said: "Our idea is to help preserve traditional fruit varieties and help local people, especially children, get a bit closer to the earth. Growing food locally reminds us that it doesn't always have to be flown thousands of miles across the world."
Local people have sponsored or adopted trees, often in memory of loved ones. Westbourne's Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have helped plant them. Local tree surgeon Mike Reed has also lent his expertise. Havant Borough Council, Westbourne Parish Council, Postcode Publications and the Tree Council have supported the project.
Regular maintenance, including grass cutting, pruning, weeding and watering, takes place on the first Saturday of every month from 10am to 12pm.