Raising the profile of our Heritage Fruit & Nut Trees – Join the Pruning course!

Galloway glens Pruning course

In 2019 the South West Community Woodland Trust was awarded £5,000 through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme to highlight the importance of planting and eating locally grown fruit and nuts in order to promote health and wellbeing, enhance biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions.

The group help local community groups, schools and landowners in the area with the choice of varieties and planting fruit trees, offer pruning and grafting courses and help with maintenance. They promote local fruit procurement and use of fruit, by running apple day events, juicing days, recipe sharing and development.

The South West Community Woodland Trust will also work with tourist providers, B & B’s, chefs, hotels to promote local fruit & nut cuisine by collecting favourite fruit and nut recipes from the local community. These recipes will be showcased at the Fruit and Nut Festival in the autumn of 2020.

The project directly links to the aims of the UNESCO Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere by enhancing the environment, making it a better place for visitors.

Pruning course coming up on 26th January – see below for details.

 

As we approach the end of the year it is a good moment to look back at what has been achieved so far and upcoming events! Work done in 2019 includes:

March             Apple trees planted at Twynholm Primary as part of their Peace Garden

April                Distribution of flyers to promote the ‘Create a Recipe’ event

July                  Summer Pruning course at Garroch Walled Garden, New Galloway led by Jools Cox,

July                  Summer Pruning course at Link Park, Auchencairn led by Jools Cox.

August            Ordered 20 Apple and 3 Hazelnut trees from Andrew Lear, Perthshire.

September     Apple Juicing event at Earth’s Crust Bakery, Castle Douglas. Many local people brought bags of apples to juice using our apple press, and were pleased to be taking home wonderfully sweet, fresh apple juice in their re-usable containers.

September     Apple Juicing event at Castle Douglas led by Jen. Local people and visitors brought apples to make into tasty juice. A lot of folk were interested and had a go at scratting and pressing apples.

September     Apple Press and games taken to Garroch Walled Garden for their Apple Day. Much juice was made. The walled garden has been taken over by the community to grow vegetables including a giant pumpkin! They aim to re-establish the orchard.

October          Organised and planned Tree planting days at 3 local schools

November      Planted 3 Apple trees with the Rural Skills group at Castle Douglas High School.

November      Planted 4 Apple trees at Crossmichael Primary with 12 children. All children enjoyed the experience but needed lots of help with the digging!

November      Planted 3 Apple trees with Dalry Primary school with their teacher Mrs. Muir watching and supervising. The children were very excited to be excavating treasure of old bricks with words on, bits of glass etc. Eventually the holes were dug deep enough, and trees planted with compost, two in their vegetable growing area and one planted on the edge of the playing field.

December       Jools helped villagers to plant 3 Apple trees in Mossdale Village Hall grounds.

January (2020) Planning to plant 3 Apple trees at Castle Douglas Primary School.

 

Event coming up!

 

26th January 2020       Winter Pruning Course, 11am. As part of a walk round various gardens and pruning trees in Castle Douglas, ending up at Jools’ house for tea (100a Queen St). Bring your secateurs. Free Event. Meet at 100a Queen Street, Castle Douglas at 11am. Contact joolscox80@gmail.com for details.

 

McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team Leader, said:

“Reconnecting people with our heritage varieties of trees is an opportunity to highlight just how rich Galloway’s larder can be. Developing our appreciation for local varieties does tie us to our heritage but has lots of contemporary benefits, including reducing air miles and reconnecting people with the seasonality of food. It is great to see the progress made so far on this project and to hear what a good time attendee have had on courses so far, congratulations to all volunteers involved.”

 

Jenny Stephenson, Orchard & Wild Harvest Project Manager, said:

The Grafting event is already fully booked, but spaces are still available on the pruning event in January. It promises to be very informative, as well as good fun! If you’d like to join us, please contact Jools on joolscox80@gmail.com for details.”

 

Jools Cox, from South West Community Woodlands Trust, added:

I am very pleased with the progress of the project and with the enthusiasm with which the children have embraced tree planting. They realise that planting fruit trees contributes to mitigating climate change, and they look forward to eating locally grown fruit.”