First Stoke Newington Fruit Tree Mapping Day

by Jamie on June 30, 2010

This Saturday we had our first mapping day and it was a big success. On a gloriously sunny, hot day, we had a very eager team of mappers hit the streets of Stoke Newington and start tracking down the fruit trees.

The team split up into pairs, with a different part of Stoke Newington assigned to each pair. We armed everyone with a map, notebook and a batch of flyers explaining the project to give to owners or drop through their letter box if they weren’t in.

The brief was simple – log as many fruit trees as could be found, both in public spaces and private gardens where possible. With so many streets of terraces in Stoke Newington, the latter are quite hard to find, but there are many trees growing in front gardens and you can see the trees in end of terrace gardens.

Information that was captured about the tree included the type of fruit, the cultivar, age, location, amount of visible fruit and ease of harvesting amongst other things.

By talking to the owners, in many cases it was possible to find out about other trees in the area and also to gather a lot of information about the trees – one person we found knew exactly how old a couple of apple trees were because she plants one in each of the homes she lives in.

And the results of this day of mapping? We managed to record an amazing 59 trees comprising apple, crab apple, apricot, cherry, fig, grape, medlar, mulberry, pear, plum, almond, and walnut. A fine haul without a doubt.

Interestingly there were a few cases of fruit trees growing in end of terrace gardens at opposite ends of a block, which suggests that a load of the homes in between are likely to have trees also. In likely looking spots we hope to drop a flyer off at each house but we also really need to get people talking about this project, telling their friends and family, so that we can capture as many of these hidden trees as possible.

Next step will be to add the trees to the map. Public trees will be marked as close to their correct location as possible and we will also be taking photos. The private trees will have markers that are not located on the tree’s exact spot and will only include information about what kind of tree it is.

We will also mark the roads that have been covered by the mappers. That’s not to say that these roads have been ‘done’ as there will be other trees hidden in back gardens, but it means that we can keep track of how much area we’ve covered.

Big thanks are due to the industrious mappers and also thanks to the Tree Musketeers and Growing Communities for putting the word out about this project to your groups!

All in all it was a great day which bodes well for this project, but we’re going to need more help so if you can give a little bit of your spare time to help us out we’d really appreciate it.

Even if you can’t help out directly with your time, you can help by spreading the word and telling your friends and family about the project. If you know someone with a tree, email them the url of our tree submission page and encourage them to tell us about it.

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