More than 280 trees to be planted in locations across Northampton including as part of a new outdoor classroom

It is hoped the classroom will provide a forest school experience

By Carly Odell
Friday, 26th November 2021, 4:00 pm

A total of more than 280 trees will be planted in two locations across Northampton as part of National Tree Week.

Thirty heritage fruit trees will be planted as part of an urban community orchard at the Hunsbury Hill Centre on Tuesday (November 30).

Then a further 254 trees will be planted at Delapre Primary School on Wednesday (December 1) as part of a new forest classroom.

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Trees that will be planted at the orchard.

Hunsbury Hill orchard

Students from the local primary school and Moulton College will be planting apples, pears, damsons, plums and quince in the grounds of Northamptonshire ACRE, at Harksome Hill.

The fruit varieties have been chosen for their historic value, and were once grown in orchards across the East Midlands.

The orchard, funded by the Postcode Places Trust and Northampton Rotary, is part of a wider project to restore the Grade II listed farmhouse, outbuildings and landscape at the Hunsbury Hill Centre.

The orchard site.

Northamptonshire Acre CEO Elaine O’Leary said: “Planting this orchard is the culmination of a long-held wish of the charity.

“We are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver a wonderful growing space for the benefit of the local community as well as doing our bit for the Queen’s Green Canopy.”

The project is a collaboration with West Hunsbury Parish Council, community group Save Our Street Trees and urban forester Russell Horsey from Woodland Dwelling – who will be leading the planting day.

Northampton Rotary Club has sponsored five trees as part of its centenary celebrations, which will see it plant 100 trees across the town.

Delapre Primary School

Fourteen semi-mature trees including oaks, beech, and maple, alongside 240 woodland whips from The Conservation Volunteers will be planted.

The planting, part of the Queens Green Canopy celebrations to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, has been designed by the school council in collaboration with Northampton community group Save Our Street Trees and urban forestry experts Woodland Dwelling.

The Woodland Trust has donated £1,500 towards the project, with a further £500 donated by Far Cotton and Delapre Community Council.

There have also been generous gifts from residents and parents.

It is hoped the trees will provide an area for teaching and nature activities, with willow and hazel creating materials for a forest school experience.

Delapre Primary’s deputy headteacher Stephen Casey added: “We are always looking for ways to enhance the learning experiences for our children – and we’re delighted to be able to allocate part of our playing field to this enriching learning space.

“Children across the school presented designs for a new forest school area and our school council worked together to pick different elements from the range of designs submitted.”

Find out more about the Save Our Trees campaign here.