This project is a new phase of the successful ‘Fruitful Landscapes’ Project and aims to support communities to increase their capacity to gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to enable them to create, maintain and use the orchard resource of the Inner Forth in the longer-term.
Over the summer of 2016 a workshop programme was developed and four workshops delivered, including Summer Pruning at Kennetpans, Care of Nut Trees at the Helix Nuttery (leading to a Nuttery Management Plan) and Fruit Crate-making, at Tullibody Community Garden.
Work has also begun to restore an historic plum orchard at Kennetpans, and we are looking at the potential to establish a Friends of Kennetpans Orchard for the future. We are also supporting a range of existing groups with their orchards at Riverside, High Valleyfield, Polmont Woodlands Group, and Helix Nuttery.
A pruning workshop at Kennetpans, near Clackmannan in full swing
We held lots of events over the summer to encourage people to get involved with their local orchards, and to enjoy – literally – the fruits of their labours. More events are planned for autumn/winter 2016-17, so do check the IFLI events calendar for more information. As well as being involved in the Big Roman Week, a festival which celebrates the Roman legacy and history of Bo'ness, the run up to Christmas 2016 saw a Family Craft Activity afternoon take place at Kinneil Museum, where a group led by artist Caroline Jones learned how to make Christmas decorations from natural materials from the nearby orchard and estate.
Pressing work at the Roman in the Orchard event at Kinneil House
We are keen to engage local schoolchildren, and have already held a number of pupil workshops and teacher training events around the area, with hundreds of children and dozens of teachers participating. More are planned for the future.
To find out more about the Forth Valley Orchards initiative you can visit the Forth Environment Link website at http://www.forthenvironmentlink.org/18-forth-valley-orchards