Scouts get stuck in to help create new Ashridge orchard

Scouts from five Groups across Hemel Hempstead teamed up at Ashridge on Saturday to help the National Tree Council plant a new orchard, on the first day of National Tree Week.

Led by 1st Warners End Scouts leader Matt Smith, a gardener at Ashridge House, 17 Scouts replanted a total of 33 apple, pear and cherry trees, to reinstate an orchard that was on the same site in the mid 1800s, at the rear of the main house, and adjoining the stunning gardens. Four members of Ashridge staff also joined the team to guide the scouts through the task. This exercise counts towards the Community Challenge Badge.

This is part of a greater project to restore the gardens at Ashridge to their former beauty, and as always, Hemel Hempstead District Scouts were happy to lend a hand. During the afternoon, the team learned how to plant the trees, why they are planted in a certain way, and discovered a little about the history of the orchard and Ashridge House.

This is the 40th anniversary of active tree planting nationally, since the ‘Plant a Tree in 73’ campaign was launched.

There is a great need nowadays to counterbalance the declining tree population caused by ash dieback, chestnut leaf miner and other diseases; the National Tree Council sponsored some of the trees.