Hunstanton pupils embark on tree-mendous new orchard plan
School children officially kicked off a project yesterday which could see as many as 120 fruit trees planted behind a community centre.
Eight Redgate Junior School pupils were on hand to present six nesting boxes, donated by the RSPB, to the Hunstanton Community Orchard project. The boxes will be attached to the Sycamore trees currently on the field behind the Hunstanton Community Centre, off Avenue Road, and it is hoped they will encourage birds to use the site.
A community orchard will take shape around the three trees early next year with the planting of 60 fruit trees. It is hoped a further 60 trees will then be planted in 2013.
Kate Dunbar, who is heading the project on behalf of Hunstanton Town Council, said the Robert Blatchford – a variety of apple first grown in Hunstanton – will be grown on the site.
Plum, pear, quince and nut trees will also be planted on the site, which was a lavender field for a spell after the second world war. Hunstanton people, businesses and groups have sponsored many of the trees.
The town councillor said: 'This is the start of an exciting project for Hunstanton. There is not a lot here at the moment but in a few years it will be brilliant here.
'We hope that the orchard will bring a real sense of community here and will be a peaceful, much-loved part of the town.
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'As well as being a wonderful site for wildlife, the orchard is sure to be a great educational resource for local schools and children's groups.'
She added West Norfolk Council will dig the holes for the trees and Norfolk County Council has donated three quarters of the �3,500 required for the project.
Dave Hawkins, from the RSPB's Titchwell reserve, said: 'It is great to get children involved in these types of project because the future of nature belongs to the children of today.
'We need to get these children excited by nature and hopefully these students will come along here to see if birds are using these boxes.'
Mr Hawkins said robins, blue tits and sparrows are all likely to use the nesting boxes.