Official opening for new play area and orchard

Vernon Hewitt, Roger Brown and Alec Harden, left, with some of the donors
Vernon Hewitt, Roger Brown and Alec Harden, left, with some of the donors

The new combined wild play area and orchard on Steyning Downland Scheme has been officially opened.

Supporters joined members of the steering group and volunteers from Steyning Community Orchard in the Big Picnic Field, at the end of Nightingale Lane, on Saturday.

The willow tunnel play area

The willow tunnel play area

Vernon Hewitt, from the downland scheme, unveiled a new noticeboard and thanked everyone who had contributed.

Alec Harden, from the orchard group, thanked those who had made generous donations to support the tree planting. Three trees were planted last winter and five more this year, with plans to plant more next year.

Roger Brown said the apple trees had been chosen to be a mixture of shiny, red, sweet and juicy fruit that would appeal to children, together with some traditional Sussex varieties.

They had also been chosen to be a mixture of early and late varieties, so that fruit would be available over a long season.

Vigorous rootstocks were chosen, so the trees would grow to a good size and eventually form an attractive grove.

Elfie Gloster had earlier led a team of volunteers in creating a willow tunnel and other children’s play features. Logs have been arranged for play and picnicking, and the whole area is surrounded by a dog-proof fence.

READ MORE

New play area gives children freedom to explore nature

Orchard expansion as new site is added

VIDEO AND PICTURES: Julia Donaldson meets her fans