A CALL has gone out to offer every Hampshire school its own orchard.

County Councillor Stephen Reid, who represents the Basingstoke South West division on Hampshire County Council, has suggested the authority tries to offer an orchard to every school.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Monday, Cllr Reid said he had used part of his county councillor grant to make mini-orchards possible for two schools in his division.

The grant paid for the trees and volunteers planted them.

Cllr Reid said: “If we could find a sponsor to pay for trees across Hampshire, we could make the offer to every school in the county. That way the pupils and the environment would benefit.

“The pupils could watch the trees blossom, see the work of the insects and the growth of the fruit. They might even be able to pick the fruit and eat it.

“The environment would benefit from having thousands of extra trees, helping to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and generating oxygen.”

His suggestion came in a debate in which cabinet agreed to declare a climate emergency and to draw up a plan to continue reducing Hampshire’s carbon footprint.