25 fruit trees have been donated to a housing group in Wythenshawe to help create a sweet legacy in the local community.
MPT, a joint venture of Laing O'Rourke and VolkerRail, which is currently delivering a £900m expansion programme of the Metrolink network for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), has teamed up with local landscapers, Ground Control, and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, to deliver the initiative.
The 25 fruit trees have been donated and planted in the gardens of five community groups within the area, including the offices of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, The Young People's Support Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Research's volunteer centre at Wythenshawe hospital, The Dandelion Community - a gardening group ran at a local church and The Crossacres Cultivators - a gardening group at a local Age Concern community centre for over 60s. Each centre received an apple, plum, cherry, pear and damson tree.
MPT Environmental Manager, Andrew Campuzano explained there is a historical connection to the donation: "When Wythenshawe was originally built in the 30s, the aspiration was to be a garden city and every house built had a fruit tree in the garden," said Andrew. "We thought it would be a good idea to donate the fruit trees, as a positive environmental gesture, but one with a definite nod to the area's local history."
Jacqueline Naraynsingh, Real Food Programme Manager for Wythenshawe Community Housing Group said the local groups were ecstatic with the trees, and particularly pleased with the 70 tonnes of top soil and extra compost that were also delivered.
"MPT have been absolutely fantastic. It has been a pleasure to work with such a professional group of people and the community groups have been blown away by the kindness and generosity." said Jacqueline. "These groups do fantastic work to teach people the value of eating healthily and sustainably, so it's great that their members and the local community will be able to help themselves to fresh fruit from their trees."
Peter Cushing, TfGM's Metrolink Director, added: "I'm pleased to see our contractors working closely with these important local groups. It's great to see Metrolink is already becoming part of the local communities it is soon going to serve. These trees will be a healthy and positive environmental legacy for the area."
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