A lasting memorial
A local community orchard offered an Emsworth family the opportunity to create a lasting memorial to a much-loved husband and father.
John Shreeve, who died last year, has been remembered by two apple trees at Hampshire Farm Meadows, planted by his daughter Hermione – one of his four children - where her father loved to walk.
The family also made a £300 donation to the orchard, which is being planted by local environmental group Greening Westbourne on the border of Emsworth and Westbourne.
Mr Shreeve’s widow Rachel said: “The idea of planting the trees was Hermione’s. We decided to ask mourners to make donations in lieu of flowers, giving half to Brain Tumour Research, because John died of a brain tumour, and half to the community orchard.
“We used to come to Hampshire Meadows a lot and spent a lot of time walking around. He used to enjoy seeing the area at different times of year, and watching the dragonflies and birds. He spent a lot of time gardening with Hermione.”
Along with local people, Westbourne’s Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have been helping to plant the orchard, with brass discs buried under each tree’s roots, bearing the names of the children who helped to plant it. Local tree surgeon Mike Reed has also being lending his expertise, and Havant Borough Council have supported the project.
Richard Hitchcock, of Greening Westbourne, said: “We were very glad to be able to help the Shreeves, and overwhelmed by their generosity. We hope having the trees helps them through this difficult time.
“We hope these are the first of many trees to be sponsored. We’re sure local people will want to sponsor them in memory of loved ones, as gifts, or just to help us fund the orchard.
“We believe the orchard will be an attractive feature of Hampshire Farm Meadows, and something our two communities – Emsworth and Westbourne – can enjoy together.”
Greening Westbourne also plans to plant other types of fruit tree, such as pears, plums and apricots. The aim is to have 50 or 60 trees eventually, with benches nearby.
Anyone who wants to sponsor a tree, help with the community orchard or get involved with Greening Westbourne can email firstname.lastname@example.org