Tree gift celebrates Reaseheath’s centenary

Reaseheath College has donated a ‘Discovery’ apple tree to Nantwich’s Community Orchard as part of its year-long centenary celebrations.

The variety was developed in the 1950s and is one of the earliest English eating apples. It joins a further 47 fruit trees in the orchard, which is on Nantwich Riverside near Shrewbridge Road and is maintained by Nantwich in Bloom volunteers.

The tree was planted by Level 2 horticulture apprentices Natasha Devine and John Bradburn under the guidance of Nantwich in Bloom Chair Sue Sherwood, Vice Chair Tom Deans and Master of Horticulture Harry Delaney, who between them have served a total of 85 years in the Nantwich college’s horticultural department.

Nantwich Community Orchard was established in 2008 to help preserve and maintain traditional fruit varieties and now has 29 apple varieties, three types of pear tree and three types of plum tree.  Any passer-by can pick and sample the fruit during the harvesting period.

Tom Deans, who began his Reaseheath career in the 1970s as a lecturer and progressed to become Head of Horticulture, said: “It is very fitting that Reaseheath’s centenary gift is a ‘Discovery’ tree. The horticulture industry is a fast growing sector, particularly in the use of new technology for sustainable food production, and the college has set its sights on remaining at the forefront of research and innovation.

“Nantwich in Bloom is very grateful for the continued support of Reaseheath staff and students, which includes the specialised pruning of the fruit trees in Nantwich Community Orchard and the planting of the memorial flower bed in the town centre.”

Natasha, who works for Gnomes Ltd, a Stockport based garden maintenance company, said: “This has been a highlight of my apprenticeship programme. I have really enjoyed learning about the varieties of trees in the community orchard and how best to plant and maintain them from industry experts.”

John, a trainee gardener in the Italian garden at Trentham Gardens, added: ““It has been a great honour to plant a tree in honour of Reaseheath’s 100th birthday. Hopefully it will bring pleasure to the local community for many years to come.”

For more on Nantwich’s Community Orchard see www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/nantwich-orchard 

For more on Reaseheath’s centenary memories and celebrations see: www.reaseheath100.com

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