THE Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) is inviting local people walking in the countryside to help identify where fruit trees are growing along the Caldon Canal towpaths, old plateways and pubilc footpaths.
Wendy Birks from the CVLLP said: “In the past these routes were a means of transporting goods and produce.
“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, pears, damsons, plums, gooseberries and blackcurrants may still be found along many these old routes”.
“There are three ways in which people can help when they are out and about @ Locate and identify fruit trees. Fruits are coming on the trees at the moment so soon they’ll be easy to identify; @ If you find a fruit tree, record what kind it is and send its location to the CVLLP. A six figure grid reference is best, but if you cannot supply grid references please try to explain where you found it; @ Wendy added: "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 us, we’d love to hear it”.