PICTURES: The community turned out for Orchard Day

Peeling an apple is Lily Riley watched by brother Jack holding the peeler is Mary Parkinson.
Peeling an apple is Lily Riley watched by brother Jack holding the peeler is Mary Parkinson.

The New Mills Community Orchard Day was a ‘dream come true’ for volunteers.

The annual event held at the orchard in Lea Park was as popular as ever and more than 200 people turned up for fun and games and to pick fruit.

Sarah Mercer paints the face of Amelie Done watched by Marcy Cooper and Maisie Done.

Sarah Mercer paints the face of Amelie Done watched by Marcy Cooper and Maisie Done.

Chairman of the orchard Lance Dowson said: “Seeing the orchard full of people and children running around and families picking fruit that was what we set out to do all those years ago and it really was a dream come true.”
The project celebrated it’s tenth anniversary last year and was started after a field became vacant and research showed that in 1640 it was a community orchard.

A lottery funded grant of £9,000 got the project off the ground.

Lance said: “This is everyone’s orchard and now more than ever we have found that people need a helping hand and access to free fruit.”

The weather was kind for the fun day which took place on Sunday, September 25.

Icing a biscuit is Betty Culkin.

Icing a biscuit is Betty Culkin.

Lance said: “The day started off as cloudy and drizzle but by lunch time it had all cleared up and everyone had a great time.

“We welcomed a man making crepes for the first time which went down a treat and there was a bouncy castle which the children loved playing on. There were facepainters and a raffle supplied by Sainsburys.

“People can come all year round to do a bit of tidying up but it is in the summer that it really comes a wonderful place with all the soft fruit trees in harvest and the orchard day looked spectacular as there was fruit on the trees.”

Enjoying the candy floss are Natasha and Maisie Rigby.

Enjoying the candy floss are Natasha and Maisie Rigby.