Community orchard planting success at Starston, near Harleston

Families and other villagers in Starston, near Harleston, came together to plant an orchard of 24 trees in the Starston Glebe Meadow.

Most of the trees are East Anglian varieties and include apples, pears, cherries, plums, quince and medlar, most of them coming from the East of England Apples and Orchards Project.

Over 70 people came to the meadow that morning, including 15 families - 31 children altogether. Each family chose a tree and the children dug a hole and planted it under the supervision of Dee Palmer. Each tree is numbered so families will always be able to find their 'own' tree.

While the trees were being planted Peter Grimble led another group of volunteers in clearing the line of the hedge along the Harleston road and starting the work of re-planting with hawthorn, blackthorn and other native species to fill the gaps.

The Starston Glebe Meadow is a community project run by the village for the village. People and businesses in the village recently raised over �10,000 to buy the meadow and the cost of the fruit trees, hedging plants and other essential work is being covered by a generous Community Conservation Grant from Norfolk County Council and another grant from the Waveney Valley Neighbourhood Board. 'We are making this meadow into a wildlife and conservation area for the whole village and others to enjoy. It is very encouraging to see how many people in the village want to become involved,' said Michael Bartlett chairman of the Starston Glebe Meadow Group

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