Plans for greener Bognor will bear fruit in future

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Members of a community group have worked towards a greener Bognor Regis by planting fruit trees.

Local community group greenerBognor has enhanced a public area by planting trees donated by the Woodland Trust.

The trees are part of a wider plan for a new community orchard which the group is developing close to the banks of the Aldingbourne Rife, just off Felpham Way.

Group spokesman Dave Barton said: “Tree planting is a fantastic and fun way for us to do something lasting in the town.

“We hope our trees will help attract wildlife and make a real difference to everyone who will see them. It’s incredible to think in just five years, our trees will be as tall as us.

“We would like as many people from the community to come along to see how the site is developing and possibly join in with the fun.

“In this way, regeneration of the town becomes exciting and all-inclusive.”

The group received the foliage as a donation to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for which an event is being planned in June.

Comprising blackthorn, crab apple, elder, dog rose and hazel, these have been planted in a double hedgerow on some previously-rough ground, close to a new wooden bench the group has also installed.

Fellow member Jo Brooks said: “We hope by planting trees that bear edible fruits and nuts, we can teach more people in the community about harvesting and using them.

“The traditional knowledge and skills behind keeping our English hedgerows thriving for the benefit of all can then continue to be embraced and passed down generations.”

The community tree packs are part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project, which aims to plant six million trees by the end of 2012.

Victoria Hodson from the Woodland Trust said: “We are delighted greenerBognor are using our free tree scheme to plant more trees in the new community orchard in Bognor Regis.

“Communities throughout the UK are transforming their neighbourhoods, growing their own fruits and food, creating shade and shelter, and providing new homes for wildlife.”

The group is working closely with Arun District Council’s parks and landscapes department, which has provided advice, materials and tools.

Throughout February, there will be a group meeting every Wednesday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm to help plant fruit trees and tidy up the site.

All are welcome to join in, but people are asked to come prepared – a coat, warm clothes, hat, gloves and a pair of boots or wellies are recommended.