New community orchard planted in Alton

Sunday 12th December 2021 12:00 pm
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Residents joined Alton Town Council and members of ALFI (Alton Local Food Intiative) to plant a new community orchard last Friday.

Thirteen trees were planted at the recreation area in front of the wild meadow at Barley Fields as phase one of the project.

The town council’s ground team did the bulk of the planting, while East Hampshire District Council climate champion Steve Hunt, ALFI members and Barley Fields residents finished off the job and planted spring and summer bulbs around the trees.

Phase two will see old-fashioned heritage fruit trees planted at a later date.

The residents were key in the planning of the bulb planting and the team will maintain the area with ALFI also overseeing it.

To find out more about ALFI, visit www.altonlocalfood.org.uk

Residents joined Alton Town Council and members of ALFI (Alton Local Food Intiative) to plant a new community orchard.

Thirteen trees were planted at the recreation area in front of the wild meadow at Holybourne’s Barley Fields estate as phase one of the project.

The town council’s ground team did the bulk of the planting, while East Hampshire District Council climate champion Steve Hunt, ALFI members and Barley Fields residents finished off the job and planted spring and summer bulbs around the trees.

The residents were key in the planning of the bulb planting and the team will maintain the area with ALFI also overseeing it.

Phase two will see old-fashioned heritage fruit trees planted at a later date, in front of the phase one trees.

"This means that buds from RHS Wisley can be grown on rooting stock but this process takes up to two years before planting for phase two," said Sonia Clark, ALFI secretary.

"As we intend to use the heritage trees for phase two, we can apply for training for pruning and after care of the orchard following this initial planting. Gilbert White’s garden at Selborne has some of these heritage trees such as golden russet.

"It is so satisfying to watch a plot like this develop and become productive."

A sign will be hung on the fruit trees advising when the fruit is ripe and ready and will explain that the fruit is ripe when it falls into the hand on touching.

The sign also asks that people only take for their need and leave fruit for others to pick.

As well as the ALFI board that says ’FRUIT’, there is a generic one about ALFI that gives links to ALFI information.

Alton Town Council will supply interpretation panels adjacent to the fruit trees and by the entrance to the area.

To find out more about ALFI, visit www.altonlocalfood.org.uk

New volunteers are always welcome.

A sign will be hung on the fruit trees advising when the fruit is ripe and ready and will explain that the fruit is ripe when it falls into the hand on touching.

The sign also asks that people only take for their need and leave fruit for others to pick.

As well as the ALFI board that says ’FRUIT’, there is a generic one about ALFI that gives links to ALFI information.

Alton Town Council will supply interpretation panels adjacent to the fruit trees and by the entrance to the area.

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