Hospital orchard given new lease of life

Some of the volunteers who helped plant trees in the old orchard  at Guild Park, Whittingham, once the orchard of the former  hospital.
Some of the volunteers who helped plant trees in the old orchard at Guild Park, Whittingham, once the orchard of the former hospital.

School children from Broughton and Goosnargh have worked to bring new life into an old orchard.

Pupils from Broughton High School, in partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Grow Your Own Project, have been planting new trees in the old orchard within the grounds of Whittingham hospital.

The group was awarded a grant from the Tree Council as part of a long term plan to renovate and rejuvenate the area.

The team, which also included members of 1st Goosnargh Scouts and Beavers, Goosnargh Oliverson’s Primary School pupils, residents and parents, spent the weekend clearing overgrown trees to make way for a variety of new apple trees.

They also erected tree guards for trees damaged by deer and rabbits.

Trust spokesman Elizabeth Harrison said it was wonderful to be able to open the orchard up to the community, adding they were very grateful to the volunteers, also to the businesses and individuals who donated timber and wire, which were vital to help protect the trees.

She said: “This marks the start of a long term relationship between us and the community to keep the orchard in use for future generations.”

Forty new trees were added to the 222 existing ones and the group now aims to make sure they are looked after.

Whittingham resident Jane Sims, who is also environmental co-ordinator at the high school and organised the tree planting, said they now plan to stage a Blossom Time special and a summer picnic to thank everyone.