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Milestone day in Wisbech for Fenland Orchards Project





The last of 100 fruit trees have been planted by volunteers at a local orchards project.

Fenland Orchards Project invited the public to bring their spades, mugs and wellies to help complete the milestone in their venture.

The volunteers started their work at 10am on Saturday, and they were met by pegs which marked out where the trees were to be planted.

Sue Foster, Mel Richards, Andrew Callaghan and Alan Wheeldon volunteering
Sue Foster, Mel Richards, Andrew Callaghan and Alan Wheeldon volunteering

Fenland Orchards Project is a three-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery and supported by CP Learning Trust, members of Cambridgeshire County Council, Wisbech in Bloom, the Wisbech & Fenland Museum, Natural Cambridgeshire, Orchards Academy and Clarion Housing.

The organisers also appreciate the help of all of the local businesses, organisations and schools who have been involved.

The project was started due to the noticeable decline of orchards in the area.

Fenland Orchard project fruit tree planting..Alan Wheeldon.
Fenland Orchard project fruit tree planting..Alan Wheeldon.

Some 90 per cent of the orchards have been lost over the years, so the group wants to bring them back whilst involving people in the community.

Other aims of the project include reducing greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and providing natural habitats for wildlife in the area. In addition to this, it will provide a place for the community to enjoy what nature has to offer.

Saturday saw around ten volunteers throughout the day who each had the opportunity to have their name displayed on a plaque in the orchard classroom once it was completed.

Together they were able to plant all 100 traditional Norfolk and Cambridgeshire trees including Lord Peckover apple trees which arose from Peckover House in Wisbech in 1926.

The project promotes team work and community spirit
The project promotes team work and community spirit

Development worker, Andrew Callaghan said: “The weather was fantastic and we were really, really lucky as it was not too hot and not too cold”.

The plot, which is located on Lynn Road in Wisbech, will eventually include an outdoor classroom, a pond, a butterfly bank and a lawn area for meditation and yoga.

There will also be a living willow area provided by willow weaver Karen Bek which will be continuously growing to create a den.

Fenland Orchard project fruit tree planting.
Fenland Orchard project fruit tree planting.

Volunteers are looking forward to what the future of the project will be and encourage anybody to get stuck in even if it’s just for a little while.



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