I'm pleased to report that our train station based walk was a complete success. The idea was to collaborate with my friend Clare Diaper who had written a book on local station walks. Clare planned the walk route and I pointed out fruit and nut trees along the way.
As we arrived at out start point, Woolston station, I immediately pointed out the Pear tree in the station grounds. To be fair, I had an advantage here as my train broken down there two days before.
There was a good number of interested people who had bowled along for the walk; the weather was just about perfect apart from one quick squally shower. We began at Itchen Ferry Village, or where it used to be anyway and mused over the building of the great ships and Spitfires that were built around this area in the past; hovercrafts are actually still manufactured nearby. From there we set off up onto Pertree Green - and here my job was going to get much more interesting.
We admired the Mayors Pear tree, a regular stop for the children and I about this time of year, then we walked down into the main body of the green. On the way many people paused to gather Blackberries or Elderberries, which were growing wherever you looked. It was not long before I started to spot Apple trees (there are loads hidden around the Green). The first few trees were fairly inaccessible and seemed not to have much fruit but we soon began to spot trees truly laden with Apples. We had bought a small picker with us to help gather fruit and my son was soon clambering up among the branches, as he always will.
By the end of the walk we must have seen over a dozen different Apple trees and everyone had filled their bags and boxes with enough fruit to keep them in Blackberry and Apple crumble and pies for quite a while. Everyone was enthused and happy and hopefully we will see a lot of them again soon - perhaps at the Mansbridge Apple Day (Sunday 11th October Octavia Rd Open Space).
The event will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday October 11th. If you have any spare apples, bring them along for crushing into juice. Octavia Road Open Space is basically a field and wilderness area, so wear suitably robust clothing, wellies etc. This is a free community event, run by volunteers and all are welcome but everyone one is responsible for their own (and their children's) health & safety.