The Planting Of Galloway Fruit & Nut Heritage Trees Continues!

Trees were planted at Rhonehouse on the famous Kelton Fair Green last Sunday. Unable to hold their scheduled event celebrating Galloway’s Fruit & Nuts, the team at the South West Community Woodlands Trust changed their plans to a Covid-19 friendly community tree planting session.

The ‘Love our Fruit & Nuts’ festival planned for last Sunday, with activities such as making Apple ‘pigs’, apple peeling competitions, apple pressing, apple hoopla, and fruit tree planting, had to be deferred until next year due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, the event on Sunday marked the harvest season by a tree planting session on the Kelton Fair Green in Rhonehouse. A group of community volunteers, following social distancing requirements, planted more than a dozen trees, including local hazels and 3 apple trees including one that was a tree grafted at last year’s grafting course run by the project.

South West Community Woodlands Trust (SWCWT) is leading on the ‘Love our Fruit & Nuts’ project, a series of activities to raise the profile of heritage Galloway fruit and nut varieties. The aim is to increase the amount of local fruit and nut varieties grown and reduce the quantities imported.  By gathering and sharing recipes with local people and restaurants we could reduce our carbon footprint, protect our heritage varieties, and keep healthy. The project is supported by a grant through the Galloway Glens’ ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme.

After the event, Jools Cox, leading the project on behalf of South West Community Woodlands Trust, said:

It was a beautiful day and so good to get out and plant trees that will be fruitful for many generations of Rhonehouse residents. We look forward to seeing everyone next year at the Fruit and Nut Festival! Remember, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, and all the better if it’s a local variety!

Jude Crooks, Galloway Glens Senior Administrator, in attendance at the event, said:

Thank you to Jools, Jenny and the Community for putting together this tree planting session showcasing the ‘fruits’ of their labour of previous years with already established damson, apple and nut trees. The new additions of our local heritage varieties not only enhances our region’s local biodiversity but also encourages communities to get back to the soil and our roots by growing fruit in a healthy, sustainable way and connecting people to our heritage via natures larder. What’s not to like about Apple and Blackberry Crumble?
Thank you as always go to our funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund and to our supporters, particularly Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team and the GSA UNESCO Biosphere.

Recipe cards can be obtained from a variety of shops and other locations around Castle Douglas.

To keep abreast of the ongoing activities of the project, and future similar events, please keep an eye on Galloway Glens Social media channels, where a series of videos with Jools are going to be posted in coming weeks exploring what we know (and don’t!) about our local heritage varieties of fruit and nut.