Thanks to Jenny Steer (www.jennysteer.co.uk) for photos of the day and to Cain Hegarty for the close ups
It was chilly for the end of April, twenty or so of us wrapped up in hats and some scarves and gloves set off from the Double Locks to visit the FLOW planting sites all the way up to Exwick. Mary-Rose Lane introduced the context of the Environment Agency and we walked upriver, referencing maps for the new trees and noticing blossom on existing fruit trees and hedgerows. Unfortunately Nigel was unable to join us for the walk this time, but we hope that he come on the walk another time and share his extensive knowledge of the habitat.
There was an endless easy stream of shifting conversations and discussions as we walked along and lots of questions and observations as we stopped to look at the trees and Anne-Marie explained which variety they were and why they had been planted in each location.
The Trews Weir orchard looked great, many trees in blossom including Almond which had already shot up. There was lots of nettles and ground cover that will need keeping at bay to let the trees get away without too much competition. We stopped for a chilly picnic at the canal crossing just before the Quay then carried on up to Exwick where we ended at the Exwick Sunflower and Blossom Day in the Parish Hall. It was mobbed! The Orchard Box and FLOW map were on display for people to see. We managed to squeeze in for a welcome cuppa and cream tea and then those of us who stayed till the end were rewarded with a song writing session with Hugh Nankevil where we collectively composed our very own blossom song. Well done Exwick on such a fantastic and popular event!
Most of the trees are doing well. One (a cherry) has been damaged and removed so needs replacing and a few may need replanting as they have been planted too close together. The Flood Defence Scheme landscaping is running a bit behind but I’m hoping that the remaining trees will be planted in Winter 2018. Quite a few of the walkers were keen to get involved with caring for the trees ‘FLOW rangers’ and helping in other ways so our next event will be an evening gathering late in June to discuss how best to go forward as a group. All are welcome. Date and location coming soon.
Come and seek out the newly planted FLOW orchard trees and explore the Valley Park together from Double Locks Pub (meet outside front entrance) to Exwick Mill Field sharing observations, stories and inspiration along the way.
Setting off from Double Locks at 11.30am.
Arrival at Exwick approximately 3.00pm
We will stop to eat packed lunch together on the way.
The walk will include contributions from:
Nigel Pinhorn, local ecologist
Mary-Rose Lane, environment agency ecologist
& FLOW artist Anne-Marie Culhane
This is an opportunity to come and find out more about FLOW, a new orchard of over 190 varied fruit and nut and foraging trees along the river exe, to discover some other non-human inhabitants and residents of this wonderful green space and to start to think about how we care for FLOW as it passes in the hands of the local community. At Exwick we will arrive for a cream tea, music and song as part of the Exwick Blossom Day celebrations organized by the Exwick Community.
Exwick Blossom Day + Launch of Sunflower Competition, Sunday 29 April: collect free seeds at Station Road Playground from 2pm. From 3pm, music, craft, seeds to swap and Cream Tea at Exwick Parish Hall, Station Road, Exwick. (please note no car access in Station Road at this time due to Flood Prevention Works) Contact Emma Welton email@example.com for more details
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Please let us know you are coming via: firstname.lastname@example.org