THE Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) is inviting local people to identify where fruit trees are along the Caldon Canal towpaths, old plateways and public footpaths in the Churnet Valley.
Wendy Birks, from the CVLLP said: “In the past these routes were a means of transporting goods and produce, while today they form a delightful network allowing locals and visitors to enjoy the wildlife and the heritage that can be seen in the Churnet Valley. "Through history people on the move would have made the most of the wild fruits and berries growing along their journey; hence where an apple tree sprung up from a discarded core it could supply fruit in future years, so a fruit tree was worth a little looking after. "The hedgerow along the canal towpath in particular was well known as a place where the families transporting goods by narrow boat could find tasty and nutritious fruits to supplement their diets. In addition to apples there are pears, damsons, plums, gooseberries and blackcurrants may still be found along many these old routes."
There are three ways in which people can help: Locate and identify fruit trees.
Fruits are coming on the trees at the moment so soon they will be easy to identify. If you find a fruit tree record what kind it is and send the CVLLP its location. A six figure grid reference is best, if you cannot supply grid references try to explain where you found it. Confirm where there are no fruit trees: If you walk in the valley regularly it would be really useful if you could pick one or more map grid square and investigate all of the rights-of-ways in those squares, then send the CVLLP a record of what you find.
Tell your stories: If you know any folklore about fruit trees in the valley, or have a real story involving a fruit tree in the area please send it to the CVLLP.