Published: Monday, 26th March 2018

Schoolchildren helped launch a mini community orchard with apple trees for all to enjoy.

Pupils from Thomas a Becket Primary School in Abbey Wood welcomed the planting of five new dwarf apple trees in Abbey Wood Park close to their school.

The planting is part of the Council's wider initiative to create orchards in parks and open spaces for the community to enjoy both seeing them and consuming the fruits they will bear in the future.

The Abbey Wood mini orchard was fully funded by the Royal Borough but recently the Council successfully secured £30,000 funding from the London Mayor's Greener City Fund to plant trees. Projects benefiting from London Mayor Sadiq Khan's initiative included The Glyndon Community Orchard in Plumstead which features 50 fruit trees. The pot of cash, which the Council match funded, was also used to plant 131 trees in Avery Hill Park, 48 trees on the Abbey Wood Estate, and 20 along a main avenue in Hornfair Park in Charlton.

Fifty children from Thomas a Becket Primary School also enthusiastically helped sow hundreds of poppy seeds in a flower bed in Abbey Wood Park as part of the borough wide programme to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

'Wider programme to plant more trees across the borough'

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member Community Safety and Environment, said: "It was great to see the children from Thomas a Becket Primary School welcoming our green initiatives. This is all part of our wider programme to plant more trees across the borough and create community orchards for everyone to freely enjoy. I would also like to thank the children for enthusiastically helping to sow poppies and I hope they enjoy seeing the blaze of blooms in the park later this year."

'Enjoyed sowing the poppy seeds'

Head teacher Bernie Greally said: "The children of Year 3 at St Thomas a Becket RC Primary School were privileged to take part in the poppy sowing and apple tree planting at Abbey Wood Park with Councillor Jackie Smith. It gave the children an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the reason for doing this across the borough to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

"The children certainly enjoyed sowing the poppy seeds and once they have grown, they will be able to visit the park for that special reason of marking the Centenary."