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Milford Primary School pupils help unveil new orchard at Downton Manor Farm Quarry created by New Milton Sand and Ballast

PUPILS helped to unveil a new orchard at a Milford quarry site aimed at benefitting wildlife and the community.

Children from Milford Primary School joined the New Milton Sand and Ballast (NMSB) team at Downton Manor Farm, helping to plant the final trees and completing the project.

They heard about the importance of trees as a food source for bees, as well as being taught how to plant, prune and maintain a healthy tree during the visit.

Pupils from Milford Primary School help plant the last of the trees at the new orchard
Pupils from Milford Primary School help plant the last of the trees at the new orchard

NMSB has been working in partnership with The Bumblebee Conservation Trust to plant the orchard alongside the Jubilee Walk, a footpath set on carefully restored land adjacent to the working quarry.

The footpath will be extended into the orchard at different times throughout the year for residents to enjoy and walk around. Forty new trees have been planted, including cherry, apple, pear, damson, crab apple and walnut trees.

Visitors will also be able to see badgers, bumblebees, bats and different species of birds.

The new orchard marks part of NMSB’s ongoing environmental commitment to the local area, which to date includes other initiatives such as planting more than 20,000 trees and shrubs at their quarries in New Milton, Milford and Pennington.

Suzanne Wright, strategy and marketing director, said: “The new orchard not only provides an important new habitat for wildlife, but also provides a unique new space for the whole community to enjoy.

“We are delighted that local schoolchildren were able to help us complete the planting of this exciting new facility.”

Gill Perkins, CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, added: “The children were engaged, enthusiastic and went away excited about discovering more about the bees and pollination, and how the fruit grows and tastes!”

Milford Primary School teacher Kristen Walker-Arnott said: “The children showed enthusiasm, leadership and teamwork, while working hard to plant the trees. They thoroughly enjoyed this visit and learnt so much about how to plant new trees and the benefits to the community and wildlife.”

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