Community spirit was alive over the weekend as an orchard was dedicated in the name of a much-loved Littlemoor champion.

More than thirty people turned out to see the official sign of Jan’s Community Orchard unveiled at the site near Wyke Oliver Pond in the Lorton Valley Nature Park.

The orchard was planted in memory of the late Jan Hinton who died last December at the age of 59 following a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.

A tireless charity fundraiser, Jan was a cherished member of her local Littlemoor community.

More than 80 fruit trees were planted at the site by families earlier this year in memory of loved ones.

On Saturday, tree owners joined Jan’s husband Pat, nature conservation officer Lyn Cooch and community development officer Julie Hursthouse for a morning of pruning and future planning.

Lyn, from Dorset County Council, unveiled the brightly coloured sign which was painted and designed by students from Westfield Arts College.

Representing the Dorset Council’s Partnership, Julie said: “We knew we wanted a sign and we thought it would provide a really good opportunity to actually involve the local community in the project.

“We approached the school and the students were absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to design the sign, which they have done such a good job on. It looks brilliant up there now.”

After the unveiling the team got stuck in cutting back the vegetation, pruning the apple and pear trees and weeding the bases.

Families each attached a colourful label to their adopted tree either to name it or in dedicate it in someone’s memory.

County councillor Jon Orrell was also on hand with wellies and a spade as part of the Transition Town group which promotes sustainable living in the borough.

The morning provided an opportunity to discuss how to improve the orchard as a community space in the future.

Julie said: “Some great ideas have come forward to continue to develop the area such as a fun trail around the Chalbury basin area, picnic benches, willow sculptures and planting more native trees.

“One idea was to build a Portland stone sculpture in the area and everyone said that they wanted to plant spring bulbs and primroses.”

The group is hoping to secure funding in the new year with the aim to start work in the spring.

Anyone with any more ideas can contact Julie Hursthouse on 01305 838497 or at jhursthouse@