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Witchknowe

Let's Eat Fruit Trail


Origin of the name Witchknowe

Extract from What's Happening Inverkeithing Facebook page Oct. 23rd 2015

"As it is near Halloween the WHI team though it a good time to research about witches in Inverkeithing. In the 17th century Inverkeithing was a hotbed of witch hunting with 51 people accused of witchcraft between 1621 and 1652. Most were executed. This was a period of religious persecution and a powerful Calvinist church in Scotland. There was also a cholera epidemic and famine and plague at this time.

The first six witches - Bessie Harlaw, Bessie Chalmers, Beatrix Mudie, Christian Hammyltoun, Margaret Kent and Margaret Chatto were accused of 'witchcraft, sorcerie, and useing of charmes and utheris divilishe practizes offensive to God, sclanderous to the trew religion and hurtfull to our good subjects.' Five confessed and accused Margaret Chatto of being the chief witch. All were executed at Witch Knowe (where the graveyard is now).

In 1623 thirteen women and two men were accused of witchcraft. One, Thomas Greave sounds like a sort of 'witch doctor'. He confessed to getting rid of disease in a patient by lighting a big fire then holding a live hen under the patient's armpit, then throwing the live hen into the fire."

In 2014, Witchknowe Park was an underused, rather neglected place. Inverflora volunteers were inspired to change this, after a visit to an established Let's Eat area in Rosyth.

 

bare & boring 2014

bare & boring 2014

Parks Team .....

propagating strawberries at the plot

propagating strawberries at the plot

Wild Flowers late June

A spectacular wildflower meadow really brightened up the area, with curving paths allowing access through the flowers. On a sunny day, the air was abuzz with the sound of bees and other pollinators.

The fruit trees such as this young pear, have still to mature before there will be fruit to harvest.

apple blossom 2018

apple blossom 2018

Annotated picture

.....  and Inverflora volunteers getting down to work.

2 year old jostaberry bushes

Jostaberries : Two year old jostaberry cuttings for the trail - jostaberries are a cross between a blackcurrant and gooseberry

 

WKpeartree
pear blossom 2018

pear blossom 2018

The first stages involved sourcing funding and getting permission to proceed with the plan.

Soft fruit bushes ( gooseberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant ) were bought and dug in at the plot as an interim measure. Strawberries and jostaberries were self propagated from volunteers' own allotments/ gardens and reserved for future use.

The Parks Team were instrumental in preparing the ground and incorporating curving areas of wild flowers. These would surround fruit trees, with the fruit bushes added at a later stage around the southern edge.

Tree varieties

Tree varieties

Apples : Greenups Pippin, George Cave, Early Julyan, Tam Montgomery, Discovery, Katy, Arthur Turner

Plums : Czar, Victoria, Old Greengage

Pears : Longueville, Williams' Bon Cretien, Beth

 

WKdigging

Weeds have to be cleared from the ground surrounding the fruit bushes, to allow the plants to thrive. Any weak or crossing branches were pruned and the bushes trimmed to goblet shapes allowing air to circulate.

Laying down membrane March 2018

Laying down membrane March 2018

2018 - no wild flowers will be sown

2018 will be a fallow year, with no wild flowers sown. Deep rooted weeds such as thistles need to be eradicated, to stop them choking out any wild flowers in future years.

  
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