Newquay Orchard has welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall to mark his first official visit to the county since taking on his new role.
The visit was an opportunity to showcase the eight years of hard work and dedication that has gone in to creating the seven-acre urban greenspace, a project proudly led by nearly 1,000 local volunteers since its inception in 2015.
It was also the very first official engagement for Prince William as The Duke of Cornwall since he inherited the title in September this year. Newquay Orchard sits on Duchy of Cornwall land adjoining Nansledan and champions wellbeing, sustainability and nature recovery, all causes that are important to both The Duke of Cornwall and His Majesty King Charles III.
Newquay Orchard Founder and CEO, Luke Berkeley, said the occasion was all about ‘celebration and recognition’ of the immense efforts of the family of orchard volunteers.
He said: “The Duchy has been supportive of our vision since day one and have shared in our journey through visits, reports and updates throughout.
“This visit was about marking what has been a monumental year for the project and sharing in our excitement for the future with the new Duke of Cornwall.”
The Duke’s first stop along the Espalier – a beautiful walkway lined with apple trees – where he was greeted with cheers, drawings and ukulele tunes from the team from Imagine Outdoors.
Imagine Outdoors provide bushcraft activities and, amongst all, fun opportunities for outdoor learning for children, young people and families at Newquay Orchard, and were one of the original business Members to call the Orchard home.
Imagine Outdoors founder Matt Lewry said: “The kids were so excited to say hello and did themselves proud. We work with children from all backgrounds and with different needs but in that moment they were all one gang, laughing and joking with a Prince.
“I don’t think they’ll ever forget that.”
The Duke was then given a tour of the Orchard’s grow spaces, including An Lowarth (a community garden tended to by volunteers), a polytunnel and the market garden.
It was here that HRH was introduced to students – including Lilly, who confidently asked for a photo (left) – and Jess, who graduated from the Orchard’s Growing Futures programme of study earlier this year and is now proudly an ambassador and volunteer.
Jess said: “It’s not every day a Prince visits Newquay and I am so happy I got to shake his hand. I love this place and I love showing it off!”
During his conversation with Jess, The Duke joked with staff and students during an exercise about nutrition.