St John's Church Winchester plants orchard 'to provide for residents'

    28 Feb. 2019
    Hampshire Chronicle

    A MINIATURE orchard has been planted at St John’s Church in Winchester with the aim to provide fruit for local people.

    It consists of four apple trees, which are all heritage Hampshire varieties.

    Associate priest, the Revd Christine Smith, said: “St John’s is a hidden medieval gem. It’s a place where people have found peace and a sense of belonging since the 12th century, yet so many visitors tell us they’ve lived in Winchester for years without realising it was here.

    “Last year we planted wild flower borders and, by creating this orchard, we hope that more visitors and local residents will come and enjoy all that St John’s has had to offer - and, come the autumn, the apples too.”

    More than half of Britain’s apple orchards have been removed in the last 25 years and two-thirds of the country’s apples are now imported.

    The trees at St John’s are to help redress that and should help the church’s outdoor space to become a haven for wildlife.

    It follows the congregation planting meadow flower turfs along its path and 2,500 bulbs last spring.

    A bench has now been installed in the mini-orchard so that locals can sit there.

    Revd Smith added: “Gardens, and churches, are places of restoration and we hope that everyone will enjoy spending time in the garden and mini-orchard.”