A group of residents from Cornwallis Crescent in Landport have been working hard to transform an area of derelict land into an orchard for the whole community to enjoy.
The project bloomed into life with the help of Portsmouth City Council's resident development team who funded the project, and landscape architects, who designed the orchard. Council contractors Mountjoy provided a standpipe for watering the trees.
Staff from Landport community garden have provided plant care and advice throughout the project, and will continue to support the scheme by training volunteers in tree and plant maintenance. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight wildlife trust will teach local children the best way to encourage wildlife into the orchard.
Supported by Portsmouth and Southsea tree wardens, volunteers of all ages made the most of the great weather and enjoyed planting the fourteen trees, including ten apple trees, two pear and two fig trees.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas, declared the orchard open on Saturday 12 March and lent a hand with the tree planting. He said:
"I'm delighted to have been invited to open this community orchard, particularly on such a bright sunny spring day. This is a fantastic project for urban green spaces which will be enjoyed by present and future generations.
"Its success is down to the hard work and co-operation of all those involved and their commitment to provide a natural haven and educational environment for all to enjoy. Phase two of the planting scheme will take place later in the year."
"This will involve planting another flush of fruit trees, including cherry, plum and more pears. Raised beds are also planned for the space for growing fruit bushes and meadow plants, as well as two benches for gardeners and visitors to enjoy the plants and trees."