Children plant new apples at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park orchard

Pupils from Helme Park School planting Paradice apples at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Pupils from Helme Park School planting Paradice apples at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Credit: Archant

A team of green-fingered schoolchildren have planted a brand new species of apple, which they helped to create, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Nine-year-old Abigail Turner, who came up with the name 'Paradice'

Nine-year-old Abigail Turner, who came up with the name 'Paradice' - Credit: Archant

Pupils from Helme Park School travelled all the way down from Huddersfield on Wednesday last week to plant the first trees in a community orchard at Mandeville Place, which commemorates the most successful Paralympics ever.

Year five pupil Abigail Turner, 9, and her sister Sophie came up with the name “Paradice” for the new apple as a piece of homework.

Said Abigail: “We just thought we needed to do something about the Paralympic Games so we took all of the Paralympic values and mixed them together and the end result was Paradice.

“It’s really exciting to know we’ve been a part of it as a school and came up with the name.”

An acronym of the four Paralympic values – determination, inspiration, courage and equality – fused with Games themselves, the Paradice apples will be available for all park users to enjoy once fully grown.

Despite 200 miles separating the school from the park, the pupils have had a close association with the London 2012 Games with some having been part of the Olympic opening ceremony and still heavily involved in its legacy.

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“It’s amazing, the children have all been so excited by it all,” said teaching assistant Angela Hutson.

“We’re always proud of our children because they’re such good ambassadors for the school and are all definitely equipped with the Olympic values.

“The Olympics and the Paralympics have done an immense amount to help the children and show that there are no barriers.”

Located in the middle of the park and forming a link between its northern and southern hemispheres, the Mandeville Place orchard is named after the birthplace of the Paralympic movement – Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The trees will be tended to by volunteers under the guidance of The Urban Orchard Project.

Pensioner Jeremy Swann, 67, from Lewisham, is among those involved in the gardening and hopes everyone will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

“It’s a community orchard so it’s here for everyone,” he said. “Hopefully everyone can come out and see the trees and taste the apples when they’re ready.”

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