The University of Manchester has planted its first orchard on campus.
Forty students have helped to plant over eighty fruit trees around halls of residence both in the Fallowfield and Victoria Park campus’.
Manchester-based social enterprise The Kindling Trust helped with the planting, which has been done in association with the Big Dig, a nationwide project encouraging volunteers to get involved in their local community gardens.
“The little trees might not look like much now, but in ten years time the campuses we planted up are going to be beautiful, grand orchards,’ Kirstin….. from The Kindling Trust told The Mancunion.
“My hope is that the whole University gets behind this scheme, aiming to make Manchester University the most food-friendly and sustainable campus in the country,” she added.
Many of the students involved in the planting were from the Manchester Leadership Programme. Zhang Ruoyu, a student on the programme said: “It was a good experience to participate in this Manchester Leadership Programme challenge. The trees we planted will hopefully bare edible apples in the near future so the students on campus may be able to grab one from the tree and enjoy it when passing.”
Hulme Hall was the last plot to be planted on and Jasmine Dale, a previous resident of the hall told the Mancunion “I think it’s a great idea, it’s something really different that will encourage students to eat and grow their own fruit.”
The trees planted will produce different varieties of apples from the North-West and will give students and staff a supply of apples in the upcoming years.
The initiative looks set to continue with plans for further development underway.
Alexander Clark, the University’s Sustainability Officer for the Directorate of Student Experience said: “We’re starting with apples, but next winter we plan to plant plums, pears and a whole range of soft fruit.”