Peter Andre helps to restore abandoned orchard in Manchester

Pop star Peter Andre has swapped the microphone for a shovel and teamed up with cider producer Bulmers to restore a derelict orchard in Manchester.

The 60 Minute Makeover star took part in the day-long restoration project which marked the anniversary of a five-year partnership between Bulmers and The Orchard Project, a charity that recovers and rebuilds orchards in the UK.

Dubbed Orchard Force SOS, Andre, alongside a team of 35 local volunteers, helped to plant trees, restore signs, pave paths and remove weeds from the site in Manchester’s Platt Fields Park.

In the past five years, 200 community vineyards have been created by The Orchard Project with the help of over 3,000 volunteers.

Commenting on the project, Andre said: “It’s amazing to think that hidden within hundreds of urban communities are orchards similar to this, where people can come together and benefit from a bit of fresh air!

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication and free time from some amazing volunteers alongside a little expert know-how, to provide the local residents with a truly beautiful and environmentally friendly community hub.  And by their very nature, orchards grow apples – which can be eaten, made into juice and, of course, cider!”

Eva Stensland, senior brand manager for Bulmers added: “Our partnership with The Orchard Project allows us to share our passion for orcharding with thousands of people and give them the ability to access green spaces, which are on often on their doorstep.

“We’ve planted 200 orchards with The Orchard Project working alongside over 3,000 volunteers. It’s been incredible to see people gaining new skills and we’re proud to have opened up so many vibrant green spaces where people can meet and enjoy the great British outdoors.”

Kath Rosen, CEO of The Orchard Project, said: “We hope that through our partnership with Bulmers, we’ll continue to highlight the importance of orchards as community spaces and inspire more people to get outdoors and discover an orchard near them!

“I’m really proud that this Manchester community now has its very own oasis where people can host community events, chill in the peace and quiet of the surroundings, manage their own sustainable food source, and learn more about the wildlife that thrives in places like these.”

In March, the C&C Group, which owns Bulmers cider, reported strong trading for its cider brands which also include Magners, and confirmed that it is on track to hit high turnover expectations for the financial year, following the “significant” momentum of former Conviviality businesses Bibendum and Matthew Clark, which it acquired in 2018.

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