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We talk a lot about working with our communities and creating partnership and nothing screams collaboration better then a joint project. We are working alongside the Fruit-full Communities Project Team, to help improve and transform some of our outdoor space.  At our housing projects in Basingstoke and Southampton, as well as our outdoor centre at Fairthorne Manor, young people aged 11-25 years have been equipped with skills and confidence to transform green spaces through the creation of orchards.  The project, funded by the Big Lottery, is part of a new £33m initiative called Our Bright Future which brings together the youth and environmental sectors to develop future environmental leaders.

This week at Fairthorne Manor, children enjoying their half term break have been working under the guidance of facilitators from Learning Through Landscapes and the International Tree Foundation. They’ve planted traditional Hampshire apple varieties including Hibb’s Seedling and Cockle Pippin, worked the apple press to make juice and will enjoy an ancient Wassailing Celebration to awaken the trees to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn!  Over time, the saplings will enhance the Fairthorne Manor orchard which was originally planted back in Victorian times and includes the exotically named Egremont Russet and Dyenne du Comice varieties.

We are so excited to be working with these partners on such a fantastic project that has touched so many parts of our organisation. Thank you to everyone involved and a big well done to all those that rolled up their sleeves; we look forward to some fruitful harvests in future years. 

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