People sign up to help plant Heroes Orchard which will mark Grantham's role in D-Day
Schools and supporters have been signing up to take part in the planting of trees at Grantham's Heroes Community Orchard next week.
The planting days take place on Sunday, March 15, and Thursday, March 19.
South Kesteven District Council has signed a 50-year-lease on the National Trust-owned Sedgwick Meadows, near Wyndham Park, to enable the creation of the orchard.
Funding for the partnership project was raised through SKDC’s crowdfunding project, CrowdfundSK. More than £12,000 has been raised from pledges, including a substantial pledge from the council itself.
A total of 75 trees will be planted on the 3.74-acre site, formerly grazing land. They will be mostly fruit trees but with three rows of distinctive silver birch to denote the Allies’ white identification stripes painted on D-Day aircraft fuselage and wings.
Two American acer trees will also be planted to symbolise the American contribution to WWll, when Grantham was surrounded by airfields hosting men and aircraft of the United States Army Air Force 1X Troop Carrier Command.
SKDC leader Councillor Kelham Cooke said: “I am delighted to see this project become a reality. We have been working closely with the National Trust and the funding co-ordinators, the Wyndham Park Forum, to bring this exciting project to fruition. We really appreciate the Trust’s readiness to help create a Heroes Orchard in the centre of Grantham.
“The land was bequeathed to the Trust from the Sedgwick sisters with the express idea that the public could enjoy the pasture alongside the River Witham, and I cannot think of a better way for that bequest to be honoured.”
Ian Cooper, National Trust general manager said: “We are very excited to be part of the partnership project to create the Heroes Community Orchard at Sedgewick Meadows. Establishing new priority habitat will not only provide benefits for local wildlife but also for the urban community of Grantham.
“It’s clear that access to green space is so valuable for our health and wellbeing, and we very much hope that local people will benefit from the quiet enjoyment and reflection in this nearly created orchard.”
Planting on March 15 is between 2pm and 4pm. Schools are due to attend on March 19 between 11am and 1pm.
Those interested in taking part should contact Elizabeth Bowskill, of the Wyndham Park Forum, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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