Telling the story of Turner’s trees

Morpeth Lions Chris Offord, Les Brindley and Ian Mills and Ann Brindley with Ian Swithenbank, the county councils cabinet member for local services.

Morpeth Lions Chris Offord, Les Brindley and Ian Mills and Ann Brindley with Ian Swithenbank, the county councils cabinet member for local services.

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A new interpretative board detailing trees on a stunning woodland bank in Morpeth has been unveiled.

Morpeth Lions Club has helped to enhance this section of Carlisle Park since planting 40 trees there in 2012 to commemorate its 40th anniversary.

The trees on the bank have been given name tags. They include Quince, Medlar, Almond and the Strawberry tree.

They were all featured in William Turner’s ‘Herbal’ – the pioneering work that the famous son of Morpeth wrote between 1551 and 1568.

Club members have cared for the trees, carried out monthly weeding and replaced those that did not thrive. They have added further species such as Spindle, which was given its English name by Turner, as well as Crab Apple, Pear, Guelder Rose and Rowan.

They have also planted red currant and raspberry bushes, as well as 400 native daffodils in the William Turner Garden.

Morpeth Lions Vice President Chris Offord said: “We are pleased to be able to launch the interpretative panel in time for the busy Easter period.

“We could not have achieved this without the support and help of the Northumberland County Council team at Carlisle Park and we look forward to continuing our work with them in future years.”

Following a visit by Northumbria in Bloom judges in 2014, the club was presented with a Royal Horticultural Society Your Neighbourhood Award for its commemorative work in Carlisle Park.

William Turner, known as the father of English Botany, was the first to scientifically describe plants and write about them in English at a time when other botanical works were written in Latin.

The new interpretative panel was unveiled this week by Coun Ian Swithenbank, the county council’s cabinet member for local services.

He said: “It’s a great boost for the William Turner Garden and Carlisle Park to have the Lions Club doing all of this valuable work.

“It’s a brilliant way to tell another aspect of the story of William Turner and adds new interest for the thousands of visitors who come to the park each year.”