I'd remembered doing a walk many years ago (I thought 20...) along a former colliery railway and coming across a bountiful carpet of crab apples - impressed as I was I noted in my walks log (...it was in fact a mere 11 yrs ago): 'saw crab apple tree on this walk' = for italics read heavily underlined...
Yesterday, as it came on to rain, I spent an extended lunch break trying to find the tree, which is a little beyond my 'comfort range' - this being around 10m radius of home. Having taken a wrong turn - kids and road signs and all that... I eventually came to the car park at the trail end.
On the trail:
did find this wild plum or damson though:
Of course I was hoping to find evidence on the tree... no such luck! Though I did encounter a couple walking their dogs who remembered seeing such a carpet as well... and as a bonus the guy told me where to look for another tree at the far end of the trail. By the time I'd got back to the car and driven to the far end they had arrived there with their two happy spaniels. As I walked towards them, sure enough on my left I passed a good-sized tree bearing fruit. Meeting them again the guy then told me of another tree he'd remembered from years before and I walked with them to a former quarry where sure enough, set back from the trail, was another tree bearing somewhat larger green fruit - sharp as he remembered...
A bit off-hand, but none the less, a useful recce perhaps.
The moral to the tale: a little local knowledge is a good thing!