On the 1st of March, Featherstone High students, pupils from Clifton Primary and Greenfields Nursery and their parents came together to help plant fruit trees in the Recreation Ground. The Southall Orchard Project has been organised by Southall Transition, a community led initiative aimed at planting orchards and fruiting hedges throughout Southall.
James, the Park Ranger from Ealing, spoke to everyone about the project and then explained how to plant the trees. Everybody worked together to bash in the posts, lift the trees in and cover their roots. The children weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty! Some of the youngest children from Greenfields Nursery School told us “I’m having fun because I love planting things – this is a fruit tree!” (Kevin) and “Look! I’m digging with a shovel!” (Luke)
When we asked the Clifton Primary School children to tell us about the experience, they said: “Excellent fun!” “Fabulous!” “Amazing!” “It’s hard work!” “Something new!”
Edison from Clifton looked at the tree he had just helped to plant and said, “It’s going to be good when it’s summer and the fruit grows”. Sandhya (mum to Mannat from Greenfields) agreed, “This is our first time planting, we live just around the corner, so we will come back together and see the trees.”
James (Park Ranger) is very excited about the project: “we are improving the environment and providing free fruit foraging and food for wildlife. It is great to see the local community children and parents so engaged with the space, they are all important stakeholders.
The older students from Featherstone helped the younger children. Sabiqua in Year 9 said: “It’s nice to be outside with the little children and to see them so engaged” Fatima in Year 10 commented: “It’s great to get involved and to make a difference to the community.”
Mani Dhanda from Southall Transition said the children “showed a great deal of enthusiasm and did a terrific job of getting the new orchard underway. We trust the whole community will enjoy the benefits of these orchards for years to come.”
Mani added it was “particularly encouraging to see the older students taking an interest and getting stuck in” Inderpal, Year 12 student from Featherstone said “It’s great to see our school getting involved with a nature project and to see a new generation of younger children enjoying the planting”
The Recreation Park Orchard will be finished on Saturday the 4th March from 10am – 3pm and the community are warmly invited to come along and help out.