DECEMBER saw much activity down by the riverside
with schoolchildren and Women's Institute members doing their bit for the area.
Nantwich in Bloom Chairman, Alderman
Doug Butterill, and the Nantwich Riverside Officer, James Thompson, worked with
pupils of Weaver and St Anne' primary schools.
The Weaver school did some planting at
Coed Wen (off Shrewbridge Road), and St Anne's pupils worked between the airman's grave and the river.
Five apple trees were also planted in
what will be the Community Orchard behind Shrewbridge Road.
Alderman Butterill told me that the first five apple
trees were: Kidd's Orange Red (sweet and crisp dessert apple); Howgate Wonder
(cooker with good flavour. "Some like to eat it straight from the tree!");
Discovery (early dessert with "wine" flavour, but does not keep); Spartan
(bright red dessert apple - crisp, juicy and sweet); and Egremont Russet (unique
flavour and appearance). Passers-by will be free to help themselves to an apple
when the trees have matured.
Three volunteers from Chester Zoo
worked with Nantwich in Bloom and James Thompson (Nantwich Riverside Project
Manager) in planting the trees and bluebells. Chester Zoo are funding a
Conservation Research Grant to help Cheshire region Biodiversity Partnership to increase the range of plant species.
Suzy, Dorothy and Marjorie with the plaque and - just visible in front of
Dorothy - one of the oak trees in a black pot.
James told The Nantwich Guardian that
they were grateful to Chester Zoo for financial and practical help. In turn,
Sarah Bird, Chester Zoo's Biodiversity Officer, told the paper the British
bluebell was internationally important with more than half of the plants found
U.K. But the British bluebell was suffering from loss of woodland and by
being hybridised with similar species grown in gardens.
The trees were given by Cheshire
PUPILS of Class 4 of St Anne's school returned a few days later to
help with more bluebell planting, and members of Nantwich W.I. helped with
planting oak saplings.
The miniature trees had been provided by
Taylor's of Harrogate, producers of
Yorkshire Tea, in their Trees for Life
Taylors provided an oak sapling to every W.I. delegate who attended the organisation's AGM in Liverpool
(Capital of Culture/Year of the Garden) in June.
Nantwich's saplings were collected by committee member, Eileen Jones.
The tea firm also provided the W.I. with
a bursary of £100 which paid for the bulbs and the plaque (pictured).
Mrs Relton told me: "We don't just make
jam, we try to get involved with the community, which is why we invited the
pupils of St Anne's to help with the bluebell planting."
Left: Dorothy Relton plants an oak sapling, watched by
Suzy Simpson, Doug Butterill, Marjorie Clark and some of the Class 4 pupils.
Right: Watched by David Smith of Nantwich in Bloom
Committee and Keith Harris, Eileen Jones helps to plant one of the
oak trees - putting her back, and her tongue, into the effort!