This year the organizers of the Bath and West Show opened a new area known as Apples and Cider. The countryside section at County Hall invited us to a planning conference to see whether we thought we could contribute something useful. The county council was mounting an exhibition showing its work connected with grants for tree-planting, especially for cider apple trees.
I suggested that our best contribution would most likely be to show about our own “New trees for old” scheme in which we offer £10 per standard cider-apple tree planted near, and in sight of, the Tor.
This was eagerly accepted, so, with background notes on Somerset orchards in the 18th and 19th century by Adrian Pearse, and photographs of last winter’s plantings in Cinnamon Lane by John Morland, we mounted a joint exhibition with the county council in the trees area.
We showed what a local society with willing volunteers can achieve, and we have already been asked if we will join the county council at the Bath and West Show next year.
On your behalf I have accepted, and plan to provide a map with our planting sites marked and photographed. This will include the places already planned for this winter’s plantings.
Again, many thanks to the members who helped man the stall.
Tree-planting at showground
The Young Farmers Club of Glastonbury and Wells asked us if we would join them in the planting of 4,000 trees on mounds along a road to be built round a new area at the Bath and West showground, south of Shepton Mallet.
I chose, on your behalf, a mound where the road snakes through the planting site. It is still marked by two flags.
On two Wednesdays and two Saturdays in March, the faithful assembled and we put in 360 trees and shrubs, each standing with their canes and rabbit-proof perforated guards.
I asked the Environment Authority, whom we have helped over the past four or five years with plantings along the Brue from Cow Bridge to the Plunging, if they would help to fund this project. This they did most generously with a donation of £300.
I went to look at our mound when up at the showground in June. It looks great. Thank you to the members who came digging, and to the Environment Authority for buying the trees.