Children help plant a new Community Orchard at Stowford
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 March 2020
Sidmouth children have been busy helping to plant a community orchard in Sidmouth.
Year one youngsters from Sidmouth Primary School braved the weather last Friday to help plant the new community orchard beside Stowford Community Centre.
Volunteers from Sidmouth Arboretum worked with the children, staff and parents from the school to plant more than 20 young fruit trees including several west country varieties of apple.
The weather wasn't perfect, but the children walked up from Manstone and took part in two hours of activities.
Groups took it in turns to help the adults plant the trees.
As well as helping with the planting, there was storytelling with local author Jo Earlam, and an interactive game with the children deciding where best to plant various trees on a large model landscape provided by Natural Habitat Design.
The new orchard is part of Sidmouth Arboretum's collaboration with Sidmouth Town Council to plant trees at 27 sites around the town over three years.
The three sites planted this year are opposite The Bowd, across the road from the Health Centre in Stowford Rise, and the new orchard, and the planting has been made possible by very generous sponsorship from local insurance company The Exeter.
Company staff have been released to help with previous planting and three representatives were present on Friday.
Andy Chapman, chief executive at The Exeter, said: "Supporting local causes is an important part of what we do at The Exeter and something all our staff are very passionate about.
"It's such a pleasure to work together with Sidmouth Arboretum and Sidmouth Town Council to make a difference in the community."
Arboretum chairman Jon Ball said: "It was a delight working with the children who showed so much enthusiasm.
"As well as The Exeter, we would like to offer a special thank you to Ash Taylor from Gardeners of Eden who donated half a day of his very helpful time."
The Stowford orchard joins Sidmouth's other community orchard managed by Friends of The Byes. The Arboretum will wrap up this planting season next week with a planting session at St John's and their fossil species garden in Connaught Gardens.