Bug trail

The story of Great Ayton’s High Street through the eyes of pollinators

Moor Sustainable CIC has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,900 for an exciting heritage project, creating a rubbings trail along the High Street in Great Ayton. May 2020 will see the launch of the trail when an activity booklet and leaflet will be available from the Tourist Information section of The Discovery Centre and an augmented reality app will be available to download from the Visit Great Ayton website. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the story of Great Ayton’s High Street through the eyes of pollinators from the earliest records to planting for the future.

Over the past year the Brighten Up Great Ayton group, with the support of Great Ayton Parish Council, has been developing areas of planting to be attractive to pollinators around the village. The planting is based on a plan for pollinators developed by local expert botanist Martin Allen.

As part of developing the plan Martin looked at the 19thC Ordnance Survey maps of the village and spotted that there used to be lots of small orchards. This led to the planting of a mini-orchard supported by Broadacres Housing Association. Caryn Loftus, of Moor Sustainable CIC, who instigated the development of the pollinator plan was intrigued by the maps and came up with the idea to undertake and share the results of research to see how the planting for pollinators has changed over time as the village has developed through activities and materials for families.  

Members of Great Ayton History Society are going to help explore local maps that might help with the research and Caryn would love to hear from you if have memories/remnants of old orchards, old garden planting plans with your house deeds, any paintings/old photographs of planting in gardens in the village or if you have recently planted fruit trees or are planning a mini-orchard. Caryn will also be looking to see if early planting of gardens and orchards in the village was influenced by the publication of local author William Lawson, in 1618, of ‘A New Orchard and Garden’. For those with fruit trees or who are planning to plant fruit trees in the village there will be an opportunity to learn about pruning and grafting apple trees.

Commenting on the award, Caryn said: “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and look forward to helping residents and visitors to Great Ayton find out more about the history of planting in the village and how we can further improve planting to support more pollinating insects given our changing climate.”

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