Christchurch free fruit and nut map offers flavour to foragers

Christchurch free fruit and nut map offers flavour to foragers
Photo credit: File

Christchurch locals are being encouraged by its council to make the most of a fruitful opportunity by picking the abundance of free fruit and nuts growing on trees across the city.

 In total, there are 122,741 Council-owned trees in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. Of these, 6846 are fruit or nut-producing trees.

A new online food map has revealed where people can find free fruit and nuts growing in public spaces in the 'garden city.'

"The council has been planting fruit and nut trees in key locations throughout the city for many years. Planting around schools, for example, allows children to pick an apple or pear for lunch on the way to school," the council's Smart City manager Michael Healy said.

More than 52 types of trees have been planted in and around the city, with the most common being plum, European beech, crab apple, Irish strawberry tree, pear, walnut, honey locust and sweet chestnut.

"Food foragers should be careful not to damage the trees when harvesting and only take enough for their own needs. Foraging etiquette means people should care for the trees and leave enough for the next person, so everyone can enjoy the seasonal bounty," he said.

Working in tandem with council specialists in geographic technology and green spaces, the SmartView map allows users to zoom in on food-bearing areas - often parks or roadsides.

Within days of going live, the online map attracted thousands of views.

The council said plans were under way to add more details about the trees such as harvest times, an image of trees and useful links to help people identify and enjoy this free food.