Pre-school children were part of the troops planting 25 new fruit trees at Holybourne’s Community Orchard on March 6.

Alton Town Council enlisted the help of youthful enthusiasts from Holybourne Village Pre-school and the Lime Tree Nursery for this green initiative.

Contributing to the eco-activity were students from Eggars Secondary School, demonstrating admirable resolve, not just in the planting, but also mastering the challenges hole-digging presented. They worked with local families and distinguished attendees; Dr June Chatfield OBE, Councillors Graham Hill and Suzie Burns, as well as Alton's Town Mayor, Annette Eyre.

Hampshire Chronicle: Graham Hill, Dr June Chatfield and Holybourne pre-schoolGraham Hill, Dr June Chatfield and Holybourne pre-school (Image: Supplied)

This expansion of the community orchard, at Barley Fields, was made possible through the donation of the fruit trees by the Hampshire Forest Partnership. The assortment included apple, pear, plum, cherry, quince, and gage trees, a homage from the King’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund. The contribution supplements the trees previously planted by Alton Town Council, volunteers from Alton Local Food Initiative (ALFI), and the Barley Fields community on November 26, 2021.

Hampshire Chronicle: John and Holybourne Village Pre-schoolJohn and Holybourne Village Pre-school (Image: Supplied)

For those looking to contribute to Alton's Community Orchards, you can contact Emily-Jane Messenger, Community Projects and Enhancements Officer via or telephone 01420 83986.

For groups interested in establishing or expanding a community orchard, the Hampshire Forest Partnership offers advice and support. Schools, residents' associations, community groups, charities, businesses, as well as levels of councils are all invited to partake.

Visit for more information.