New orchard and hedgerow project blossoms at Wickham Community Centre

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John from A E Roberts and Manager and volunteers of Wickham Community Garden
John from A E Roberts and Manager and volunteers of Wickham Community Garden

A community garden’s bid for trees and hedging has proved fruitful and it’s just planted nine fruit trees and 65 hedging whips.

The Wickham Community Garden secured the plants through the Hampshire Forest Partnership which was formed so communities could get involved in caring for woodlands and planting more trees.

The trees were selected to provide cropping fruit for the local community, so include a selection of apple, pear, apricot and cherry trees and it is hoped that they will grow into strong plants which will provide a wildlife habitat for small mammals and pollinators.

Under the guidance of Liz Keeling, an expert from the Hampshire Forest Partnership, planting of the fruit trees and hedges, which came from A E Roberts, a local nursery from Winters Hill, took place over three days and enjoyed the enthusiastic participation of volunteers.

These included children from Wickham Church of England school, Community Centre staff, members of the Wickham Pantry, members from the Men’s Shed, ladies who attend Social Suppers and even Angela Clear, Mayor of Winchester.

The community garden, which is run by volunteers guided by a qualified garden manager, aims are to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables to reduce food miles, provide a space to relax and reflect, promote biodiversity, create a wildlife-friendly environment by encouraging bees as pollinators through sensitive planting and creating bug hotels, grow vegetables and flowers for the local community to pick, cut and take.

For those interested in learning more or getting involved, the Wickham Community Garden welcomes inquiries via email at wickhamcommunitygarden@gmail.com

Anyone is welcome at the Wednesday Garden Club held between 10am and 1pm at Wickham Community Garden, whether to come and enjoy being in the space, or to maybe volunteer some time to pot up some seeds or help with preparing the beds for vegetables and plants.

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