Photo Gallery: Volunteers plant first trees of Hunstanton Community Orchard project

Youngster Pearl Hawke was one of the many volunteers who helped plant trees for a new community orchard in Hunstanton yesterday.

The eight-year-old was 'honoured' to plant a cherry tree on behalf of resort business Cherry Tree Chocolates in land set aside for the project at the town's community centre, off Avenue Road.

Families, community groups and businesses have all sponsored the 62 fruit trees that have now taken residence in the community orchard.

The fruit trees range from apple, pear and cherry to apricot, quince and medlar – with the Blatchford apple first grown in the town by nuseryman Fred Chilvers taking pride of place.

The Hunstanton school girl said: 'I'm very happy to plant the tree and now I can watch it grow for years and years.'

Her mum Tamasin added: 'I think this project is fantastic. It's a great way of getting the children into a natural environment.

'There is a real cross-section of people here which is really pleasing to see and I can see this project being a success because the population here is highly motivated.'

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Around 100 volunteers came out on Saturday to help plant the trees which will now be cared for by the Friends of Hunstanton Community Orchard. It is hoped a further 60 trees will be planted next year.

Hunstanton mayor Carol Bower said: 'This project is very positive for the town because it is something the whole community can take part in.

'In the future I like to think we will be able to celebrate major events here and I'm looking forward to eating the fruit from these trees in the years to come.'

Kate Dunbar, who has led the project on behalf of Hunstanton Town Council, added: 'It's very exciting to see these trees planted. We hope that the orchard will bring a real sense of community here and will be a peaceful, much-loved part of the town.

'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.'

Nest boxes provided by the RSPB have already been positioned on sycamore trees around the site and there are picnic tables which have been put in place for families to enjoy spending time in the orchard.

The trees were provided by Reeds Nursery the East of England Apple and Orchard Project, which conserves native varieties. The orchard will be organic and 10pc of fruit will be left each year for wildlife.

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