Canal will bloom thanks to fruit or­chards

Macclesfield Express - - NOSTALGIA -

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

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