It's wet and miserable, but . . .

  It's planting time down by the river                   

  December 2008










Pupils of Class 4, St Anne's Primary School, Nantwich, eagerly help Alderman Butterill to plant bluebell bulbs in the riverside copse. Also pictured are three members of Nantwich W.I. Committee, Suzy Simpson, Dorothy Relton (Secretary) and Marjorie Clark (the trio with the umbrellas). Also, at the rear of the picture, is teacher, Mrs Jan Roberts.



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 in the



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 Landscape Trust. 


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 programme.

   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!







The five apple trees that will form the basis of the Community Orchard.




Report and pictures by John Brough




Orchard dedicated to Reaseheath College lecturer | Nantwich in Bloom pages index


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