Byes group officially opened by TV gardener

A patch of picturesque parkland in Sidmouth saw its number of buddies blossom on Saturday when a new group was officially launched.

Friends of the Byes volunteers have helped create a community orchard at the spot and the Gardeners’ Question Time guru Anne Swithinbank was on hand to plant a fruit tree to mark the occasion.

Group chairman Michael Horsnell said: “It was a real pleasure to see so many children enjoying themselves and being entertained with nature that is freely available on our doorstep.”

“We are so lucky to have such a beautiful resource in the heart of Sidmouth,” he added.

“I would like to thank everyone who came along to help celebrate the Friends of the Byes launch.

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“But the biggest thanks of all go to the many children who came along and enjoyed themselves.”

Children competed in a wildlife art competition, run by Sidmouth Primary School teacher Leah Stratton, and they could get decorated themselves at a face-painting stall.

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Visitors could get back to nature on orienteering courses and ply any questions to the EDDC education rangers and the National Trust rangers.

The Friends of the Byes group was set up in 2010 and has since worked with volunteers from Groundwork UK community spaces program and other funding from the Keith Owen Fund and local sponsors of trees and benches to raise �44,000.

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