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Orchards are a wonderful, but sadly diminishing resource, with many of the small orchards in our traditional growing areas of the Forth Valley and Clyde Valley being replaced by commercial orchards in England or Europe.

The “Plant a mini orchard” campaign aims to work with 60 primary schools in the Forth and Clyde Valley areas to help them create and look after an orchard in their schools grounds. These schools have been identified and will be contacted individually over the next few weeks.

The official definition of an orchard is 5 fruit trees, so each school will be provided with 5 apples trees, along with all the resources needed to plan, plant and look after the orchard. Included in the pack is advice on all aspects of orchard management and maintenance, as well as a Teachers Resource Pack which shows how orchards can be used in the classroom for all areas of the curriculum.

Most of the resources are available to download from the Orchard Resources and Information page and can be used by any school individual or community group who will find them useful.

As well as CSGNT's contribution, funding has been received from Scottish Natural Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund through the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative and Clyde & Avon Valley Landscape Partnership. Forth Valley Orchards Initiative, Clyde Valley Orchards Group, Larkhall Community Growers and the Castlebank Centre are providing valuable assistance to the project, and will be working with schools and running training courses on orchard management over the summer and autumn.