What an absolute delight to photograph this next stage of the FLOW with the tree planting in Exwick on Saturday and Trews Weir on Sunday. Artist in Residence Anne-Marie Culhane organised a fab couple of days with Simon Bates – Exeter + East Devon Green Infrastructure and Mary-Rose Lane – Environment Agency. Over 130 people turned up to plant trees!!
The trees are a mix of fruit, nut and foraging trees for insects, animals and humans to encourage movement and FLOW through the Riverside Valley Park. There are just under 200 trees to be planted in 2018 which include local and heritage varieties + more unusual such as apricot, almond, loquat to adapt for a changing climate. The idea is that anyone can pick them and that you take a fair share and leave some for other people and wildlife. The route also compliments new wildflower planting that is happening in the river valley park to encourage a B-line for pollinators as part of Exeter Wild City Project and the flood defence scheme landscaping.
Anne-Marie collaborated with Emma Welton, a composer from Exwick to create the Exeter Wassail for 2018 with new lyrics for FLOW
Artist, Amy Sheldon facilitated lantern making. Devon Wildlife Trust showed people how to make bird feeders. We had an amazing storyteller, Heather Jane who told a beautiful story related to local trees and wassailing. Heather had heard the Robin call to her when she created the story. Traditionally, the Robin is the guardian of the orchard and thats why toast is usually hung in the tree as an offering to the Robin. For this wassail however, they pinned the toast on Joe’s coat and hat.
So, it was amazing when I arrived to photograph at Trews Weir and the first thing I heard was the entrancing song of the little Robin as he perched so close to us and surveyed our tree planting, darting all around us! On the bird theme, I loved that as we started the walk to wassail at Trews Weir a flock of Gulls flew over us in a FLOW down to the estuary to roost! (See the pic.)
Here are some photos of the two days.