Washington Old Hall is the apple in David’s eye

Washington Old Hall has received funds from the Copella Plant and Protect campaign. David Bellamy together with children from Barmston primary school planted trees in the orchard.

Washington Old Hall has received funds from the Copella Plant and Protect campaign. David Bellamy together with children from Barmston primary school planted trees in the orchard.

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BOTANIST David Bellamy visited Washington Old Hall to help it celebrate getting funding for fruit growing.

The historic property has been given £2,000 from the Copella Plant and Protect campaign to invest in apple trees for its garden.

Washington Old Hall has received funds from the 'Copella' Plant and Protect campaign. David Bellamy together with children from Barmston primary school plant trees in the orchard...........(pic by David Charlton)

Washington Old Hall has received funds from the 'Copella' Plant and Protect campaign. David Bellamy together with children from Barmston primary school plant trees in the orchard...........(pic by David Charlton)

Ahead of National Apple Day on Friday, David planted his own variety, the Bellamy Fillbasket, helped by pupils from Barmston Village Primary School.

Other trees being planted at Washington Old Hall over the next few months will be specialist regional varieties including Barnard’s Baker, Teesdale Nonpareil and Mrs Lakeman’s Seedling.

David, an ambassador for the campaign, said: “The planting of apple trees in orchards around the UK allows visitors to see and experience the wonderful apples local to their area.

“As well as helping to reverse the decline in orchard numbers, we hope the projects will help to further nurture the nation’s interest in this marvellous home-grown fruit and inspire them to plant and protect more apple trees.”

Sarah Murray, from Washington Old Hall, said; “The funding will make a huge difference to us.

“It’s exciting to have some of our local varieties coming back to the area. It will really put us on the map as somewhere locals can come to learn more and have a great day.”