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Project to restore 100-year-old orchard scoops top woodland award

PUBLISHED: 19:37 24 July 2017

Sir Harry Studholme, Chairman of the Forestry Commission, Robert Cosgrove of sponsors Bartlett Tree Experts, Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment, the next four are all members of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association who have worked in the orchard - Chris Gannaway, Lorna Batey, Robert Batey, Suzanne Batey and Stephanie Irvine of the Orchard Project (credit: James O Jenkins)

Sir Harry Studholme, Chairman of the Forestry Commission, Robert Cosgrove of sponsors Bartlett Tree Experts, Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment, the next four are all members of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association who have worked in the orchard - Chris Gannaway, Lorna Batey, Robert Batey, Suzanne Batey and Stephanie Irvine of the Orchard Project (credit: James O Jenkins)

Archant

A community project to preserve an orchard beside the old Dick Turpin pub has scooped a prestigious award at the Oscars of the tree world.

Residents have been working hard along with experts on a Heritage Lottery-funded project to preserve the old orchard, in Aldborough Road North, Newbury Park.

The annual London Tree and Woodland Awards recognise committed individuals, groups and organisations, that have promoted and enhanced the planting, conservation and management of trees in London.

The Orchard Project scooped The Community Tree Award for its hard group effort to preserve the 100-year-old orchard, which is home to a breed of beetle not spotted in London since 1928.

Jenny Chalmers, orchard leader, said she was delighted to see the project, which has been supported by volunteers old and young, be recognised.

She said: “It is wonderful to watch the orchard coming back to life again and to learn from dedicated experts how to maintain it. I have enjoyed working alongside other members of the local community who have brought their own skills, enthusiasm and memories of the area to the project.”

Ron Jeffries, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association chairman, previously told the Recorder his childhood memories of the orchard.

He said: “As a boy in the 1930s, I went scrumping there with my elder brother.

“My recollection is the apples were under-ripe and a bit sour when we picked them. But that might be my mind not recollecting exactly what happened!”


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