Last Thursday was the day it all started to get real…!
We plan to get 1000 Aylesbury Prune trees planted across the Tring – Wendover – Aylesbury Triangle over the next 5 years to ensure its survival in the future.
Sounds simple but you’ll see planted in the rear of this photo the last commercially available Aylesbury Prune tree we could find this year – our first secret receptor site (Tom’s house, he bought it!).
Our volunteers had their first work party with Tom and Gavin to take sapling stop from the last know orchard at Pitstone Museum. They managed to get 35 plants on this first visit, some more likely to survive than others.
The next step will be to take them to Lindengate, where hopefully they can be grown on for planting out next year. We’ll be looking for more root stock later in the year, when we may be able to identify more parent plants from the ripe fruit.
We thanks to our volunteer group leaders from our Wendover Conservation Group, North Chiltern Conservation Volunteers and North Chilterns Path Maintenance Group for their join commitment to this project.
At present this project is being funded by theses volunteers, Tom and Gavin themselves.
The project is being supported by some partner charities, not least:
- Slow Food UK who identified the risk of this amazing fruit disappearing, we expect to see Shane their Chair in the Chilterns soon, we’ll put him in charge of PR and cooking.
- Pitstone Museum who maintain the last orchard that we know of, who still have a volunteer working with them who can remember them being commercially harvested (Pete the Museum manager has been fantastic, he’s also looking for volunteers at the Museum for lots of other projects).
- Lindengate who will not only be acting as our local nursery, but we also hope be the first the second receptor site.
- Buckinghamshire Food Partnership who we’ll be working with to find urban growing receptor sites, linked to food projects in and around Aylesbury
We would also like to thank the fabulous team at Bernwode who stock an amazing array of native fruit trees, and are the only known local supplier of Aylesbury Prunes where the public can buy stock.
The Chiltern Conservation Board for there commitment to work with us on this project, and to the various farmers who have already made a commitment to planting these fab trees in locations we can easily go and forage them from!
To make it happen, we’re going to need lots of volunteer support and many receptor sites over the coming 5 years who are will to maintain the trees once we’ve supplied them.
This project will be part of a new community project which is in development across the Tring – Wendover – Aylesbury Triangle. Watch this space for more updates in the future!