TV presenter Chris Packham unveils community orchard in Ruskin Park

Your Local Guardian: Chris Packham helped create the orchard with help from Velvet Tissue and Trees for Cities Chris Packham helped create the orchard with help from Velvet Tissue and Trees for Cities

Former The Really Wild Show presenter turned environmentalist Chris Packham today helped launch a Lambeth park’s green makeover.

The TV wildlife presenter planted the final birch tree to complete the revitalised community orchard in Ruskin Park, which has been created with help from a £20,000 grant from Velvet Tissue. The tissue manufacturer ran a national search via its Facebook page to find the urban area in Britain most in need of green space, promising that the winning area would then be transformed into a green haven for the local community to enjoy.

London was the resounding winner and Velvet Tissue and Trees for Cities then worked together to identify a suitable location. The winner was Ruskin Park, which is a favourite with dog walkers, families and joggers. The grant has been used to create a fruit maze, outdoor classroom and wildflower meadow bank, as well as extending the orchard.

Tree planting charity Trees for Cities has run workshops with local residents, groups and schools to engage the community on the project. The local community will work with the Friends of Ruskin Park group to maintain the green space so that the community can continue to enjoy it together.

Sharon Johnson, chief executive of Trees for Cities said: We are delighted to be working in partnership with Velvet Tissue on this fantastic community project. The revitalised community orchard will help improve the park’s biodiversity whilst encouraging the local community to play a more active part in their environment."

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