First trees planted by COPSE at Eashing cemetery

Ockford Ridge community came together to plant the first 12 trees, provided by COPSE, in Eashing Cemetery. 

The start of a new community space

Thakeham funded the Community Orchard Project South East (COPSE) to plan and start planting a community orchard, at the award-winning Eashing Cemetery on Saturday, 20 November.

COPSE is a social enterprise that will manage the orchard planting project; set up to engage with other community organisations and landowners to create and enhance community orchards in Surrey and further afield in the South East.

The perimeter of the site will form a trail of 60 saplings in a five-year project.

Sarah Crush, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Thakeham, said:

It was wonderful to see so many people at the Orchard Planting Day. It was great fun. The new orchard will offer a rich array of fruits in the autumn and vivid springtime blossom displays. Simply being out in the open and building a better environment together will offer many benefits to the Ockford Ridge Community. 

At Thakeham, we are especially excited to support increasing biodiversity at Eashing Cemetery. This is really important to encourage a thriving, connected community with a refreshed and sustainable green space for all to enjoy at Ockford Ridge. Congratulations to COPSE and their team for putting together such a fun event. 

Next steps

Thakeham is also funding a new design for the Garden of Remembrance and was consulted on by the community at the event.

Further phases of orchard planting, wildflower planting and the establishment of a ‘Friends of Eashing Cemetery’ group will be targeted in the coming years. The aim is for this project is to become a rich community asset with the group, delivering upskilling on gardening, encouraging active outdoor living, promoting community interconnectivity, while combating loneliness.

COPSE Project Coordinator, Claire Matthes, said:

Eashing Cemetery is already a beautiful, award-winning green space, and the planting and development of this orchard trail is a unique opportunity for individuals and community groups to come together and help create a stunning outdoor trail for both wildlife and people, which will grow and develop over time.

Claire Matthes, added:

Thank you to Thakeham for their support. The Orchard represents an important addition to the community outdoor space. We were especially pleased that so many people offered opinions and asked questions about our plans for the tranquil trail and Garden of Remembrance.

More information is available about COPSE here.

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