Canal will bloom thanks to fruit orchards
THE Macclesfield Canal has become a waterway of ‘mellow fruitfulness’ thanks to the planting of a new orchard along its banks by the Canal and River Trust charity.
The Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, has been assisted by dozens of volunteers to install 20 semi-mature fruit trees along the canal, just south of Macclesfield town, below Sutton Reservoir.
A number of varieties have been planted, including apples, plums, pears and cherries, to create a linear orchard. The Trust was helped in the project by students from Stoke College and members of the Lyme and Sutton Canal Adoption Group, Victoria Anglers, Bosley Locks Adoption Group and the Macclesfield Canal Society. Tom King, ecologist with the Canal and River Trust, said: “It is rare to have an orchard planted alongside a canal but we hope these trees will not only bear fruit and be great for wildlife but become a picturesque local landmark too.
“The fruit trees have a double benefit. In spring, their flowers are a visual delight for people and food for local wildlife. And in late summer and autumn, their fruit will be a great new food source for birds, animals and insects.
“The trees have been planted within gaps in the hedgerow, where the hedge plants have died. The trees will help to fill in the gaps and restore the linear hedgerow barrier as a landscape feature and habitat for wildlife.”
To find out more about volunteering opportunities and the Trust’s important work to protect canal flora and fauna, go to www. canalrivertrust.org.uk.
Martin Williams, from Victoria Anglers, and Duncan Learmond, from Macclesfield Canal, help plant the new fruit trees