THE spirit of a dedicated community fundraiser and inspirational Littlemoor woman will continue to 'grow and blossom' at a new community orchard.

Residents of Littlemoor gathered on Saturday at Wyke Oliver Pond, part of the Lorton Valley Nature Park to plant fruit trees in memory of loved ones at Jan’s Community Orchard - named after the late Jan Hinton.

Jan, 59, died in December following a battle with ovarian cancer. She was a much-loved community stalwart in Littlemoor and a huge supporter of GO Girls, a charity that supports women with gynaecological cancers.

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Natalee Kavanagh, Jan’s daughter said: “Mum would have been truly humbled to know that she has been given such a legacy in her memory. Mum loved trees.

"Whilst it has been a reflective day for all our family, it equally has been a very exciting day to know that soon this orchard will be full of blossom and fruit. We are thrilled to have a GO Girls tree planted amongst the many that fill the orchard."

Hilary Maxwell, chair of the GO Girls and Gynae-Oncology nurse added: “It’s quite incredible to think that in a 100 years’ time, this orchard will still be here – long after we have all gone – to know that a cause, such as the GO Girls which was so close to Jan’s heart will live on.”

Ruby Vetier, who is only 6, had the big responsibility of helping to plant the GO Girls tree. 

Ruby said: I miss Jan – her flowers in the garden.  I like trees and this is her GO Girl tree – I love it."

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Community development worker for Weymouth and Portland Julie Hursthouse coordinated the day.

She said: "Jan was a truly wonderful spirited person who gave so much of her time to help others in Littlemoor.

"She rallied around the community to create the spirit in Littlemoor. Friends felt they wanted to have something to remind us all of her spirit and to allow it to continue and blossom."

Sixty-four trees were planted throughout the day with representatives from Weymouth Transition Town, volunteers from Princes Trust and staff from Dorset County Council, Dorset Council Partnership and Big4Littlemoor all helping out to make project possible.

Julie Hursthouse said: "The aim is to get people together. There is going to be much more happening throughout the year - building bird boxes, bug hotels and perhaps creating a picnic area.

"We're just overwhelmed with the response at the idea that was very much at the heart of the community.

"Just watch this space, this is just the beginning of great things happening in Littlemoor."

Green Party councillor Jon Orrell was on hand with wellies and a spade helping families to plant the fruit trees.

He said: "I'm here today with the Transition Town group. We've helped plant four other orchards and we were keen to support this one too.

"We are looking at how we move from a high fossil fuelled carbon world to a lower carbon world and part of that is being self sufficient in food and encouraging local communities to grow things for themselves."

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The trees were provided for free and donated by WJ Roadmarkings as part of a carbon off-setting measure within a contract with Dorset Highways.

Nicky Baynham, whose house overlooks the new orchard visited the community project with her family to contribute and plant their own apple tree.

Mrs Baynham said: "We live on the estate and my husband walks the dogs here and we will always be able to keep an eye on it to take care of it.

"This is a beautiful way of remembering Jan and getting the community to dig deep and have fun together."

To find out more about the GO Girls, visit