Dotted throughout the forest there are various kinds of apple tree and lots of wild cherries (Prunus avium or the gean tree – one of the predecessors of today’s cultivated sweet cherry trees).
Some of the apples have probably grown from pips, others are more like the native wild crab apples, and maybe some are linked back to when there were houses and gardens where the forest now stands.
The wild cherries are very tart, and they’re more stone than flesh, but they’re nice neverthless. They work particularly well in cooked dishes, like apple pie or crumble, adding a beautiful colour and subtle tangy taste.
There is a lovely short walk from the Malltraeth car park at the northern edge of Newborough Forest that leads you through plenty of these fruit trees.
Head out of the car park on the path beside the little corral for horses. The path is quite clear, following along the edge of the forest and the salt marshes that flank the Malltraeth sands.
In the wetter places boardwalks have been installed.
Keep following the path to the little wooden bridge.
Here you can turn left and it will lead you back to the main forest track. Or you can continue on, passing through mixed woodland. The trees are thickly cloaked with lichens and draped with honeysuckle – it smells wonderful in mid-summer. The cherries and apples are dotted throughout, but once they’ve finished flowering, they become inconspicuous.
This path too will bring you back to the main forest track. At this time of the year (May) long stretches of it are bordered by cherries in blossom.
The short circuit is about 1km, the longer one about 2km – but they can both take quite a long time because there is so much to stop and see along the way!
The grid reference for the Malltraeth forest car park is SH411671.