CUTE Ava Caswell stands proudly alongside a budding apple tree – brought to life after she planted some pips from an apple she ate two years ago.
The five-year-old West Park Primary School pupil was in nursery class when she put some pips in her pocket and gave them to her grandma, Olga Smith.
Olga, 69, planted them in her garden, in the Ward Jackson area of town, and the two of them cared for the budding tree as it began to grow.
Olga and Ava then decided to take the tree back into school where it has been planted in the school’s horticultural area.
Ava, who is a reception pupil, will now be able to watch the tree grow as she moves through the school years.
“I remember going to pick Ava up one day and she took some pips out of her pocket and asked if we could plant them,” said Olga, a retired social worker who is married to Frank, 69, a retired commercial manager for a packaging company.
“We did and we looked after it for the next two years.
“It got to the point where it was big enough to plant out so we took it into the school to be planted in their garden.
“In a few more years it should start bearing fruit, which will be lovely.
“The school will have their own apple tree.”
Olga says Ava is somewhat of a budding gardener and regularly helps out her grandma.
The youngster also lives in the Ward Jackson area of Hartlepool with her mum, Nicola, a nurse, dad, Paul, a production manager at a building company, and older sister, Morgan, 14.
Olga added: “Ava is very excited that the tree has been planted in school, it’s going to be brilliant for her to watch it as she grows up.
“She does do quite a lot in the garden and grows all sorts at home and at mine.”
Kath Anderson, parent support advisor at the school, in Hartlepool’s Coniscliffe Road, said: “I think this is a lovely little story. For Ava to have looked after this tree for the last two years and now to be able to watch it grow and look after it in school is brilliant.
“We were so pleased when we found out that Ava and her family wanted to plant the tree in our garden.”