Telling the story of Turner’s trees

23 Mar 2016

A new interpretative board has been unveiled at Carlisle Park in Morpeth which talks about the trees on a stunning woodland bank, and their relationship to a garden that was inspired by William Turner – the father of English Botany.
 
Morpeth Lions Club has been helping to enhance the woodland bank in the town’s picturesque park and garden since planting 40 trees there in 2012 to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
 
The trees on the bank have been given name tags, and they include Quince, Medlar, Almond and the Strawberry tree – which were all featured in William Turner's 'Herbal' - the pioneering work which this famous son of Morpeth wrote between 1551 and 1568.
 
Members of the Lions Club have cared for the trees, carried out monthly weeding and replaced those that didn’t thrive. They have added further species including Spindle, which was given its English name by Turner, as well as Crab Apple, Pear, Guelder Rose and Rowan. 
 
The club has also planted red currant and raspberry bushes, as well as 400 native daffodils in the William Turner Garden.
 
The new interpretative panel was unveiled this week by Cllr Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council.  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 is 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.”
 
 Morpeth Lions Club Vice President, Chris Offord, added:  “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 County Council team at Carlisle Park and we look forward to continuing our work with them in future years.”
 
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.
 
Following a visit by Northumbria in Bloom judges in 2014, Morpeth Lions Club was presented with a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Your Neighbourhood Award for its commemorative work in Carlisle Park.
 
The Commemorative Garden award was at the top level of ‘Outstanding’ after the project scored in the top quartile for all three categories of community participation, environmental responsibility, and gardening achievement.