New community orchard at Great Massingham

From left, Georgina Girdlestone, from Freebridges placeshaping team, Martin Skipper, from the East o

From left, Georgina Girdlestone, from Freebridges placeshaping team, Martin Skipper, from the East of England Apples and Orchards Project, John Gibson-Hill, local resident, Samira Webb, from Freebridges placeshaping team and Daniel Gibson-Hill, local resident. Picture: Freebridge - Credit: Archant

Villagers can look forward to tasting the fruit from their new community orchard.

Freebridge Community Housing has teamed up with the East of England Apples and Orchards Project and residents to plant apple trees in Great Massingham, near King's Lynn.

Villagers John Gibson-Hill and his son Daniel joined members of Freebridge's placeshaping team and Martin Skipper from East of England Apples and Orchards Project to plant the three-year-old trees in some shared garden space just off Charles Dewar Close.

Freebridge director of housing Robert Clarke said: 'Freebridge's vision is to support a better west Norfolk, so in addition to all the work we do in developing and maintaining good quality homes we know that we need to join with partner organisations to work on projects to help improve the communities that people live in.

'The new community orchard will be enjoyed by the residents living in the area and will also benefit local wildlife for many years to come. I look forward to coming back later next year to see whether the apples are ready to pick.'

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Martin Skipper from the apples and orchards project said 'We're really pleased to have this opportunity to work with Freebridge on this project in Great Massingham.

'There are a huge number of local varieties of apples that come from the seven counties within East Anglia, and these varieties and their orchard habitats need to be preserved for their local significance, genetic diversity and for their landscape and wildlife value.

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'The trees planted in this new community orchard contain six different eating apple varieties that all have their origins in the region – including a russet variety, apples with stripes, large and small apples, and fruit with red and green skins.'

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