Canterbury Christ Church University planted its NHS Forest Golden Jubilee Orchard in January 2012 to celebrate its first 50 years of service to Kent and beyond. David Bellamy opened the orchard and led a walk around the North Homes campus on Monday 21 May.

The orchard is part of the university’s biodiversity initiative. It includes heritage apple varieties such as the Cat’s Head, possibly introduced to England by the Normans in the 11th century, and Beauty of Kent, an 18th century cooker, much valued in Victorian times, but shunned by supermarkets due to its large size and variable shape. It also features pears and Kentish cobnuts.

Formal lawns are being replaced with a mixture of short grass with recycled logs for seating, and patches of native wildflowers. This project is part of the university’s commitment to developing a sustainable learning and recreational environment for its students and staff.

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