Orchards mark park’s 10 year

Community groups are being urged to enjoy the fruits of their labours to mark 10 years of the Cairngorms National Park.

To celebrate the decade since it was established, the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and the Soil Association has 10 Heritage Orchards to give away to be planted in villages within the park’s boundary.

The Cairngorms Food for Life Programme encourages communities to make use of green spaces and become more sustainable by growing their own food, connecting sources of food with the means of its production. Each orchard containing eight trees - a mixture of apple, plum and pear.

The CNPA is looking for nominations from groups and/or communities such as schools, allotments, churches and youth groups. Any group that would benefit in some way by having a small orchard – and has permission from the landowner – can nominate themselves.

Glynis Ross, the project’s development officer, said: “This project is about food production. We want to bring back to the communities of the Cairngorms National Park their ability to produce their own food as this gets lost in modern times as we distance ourselves from this important aspect of our lives.

“The rich cultural heritage of the park is deeply rooted in food production, from soft fruits, to crops, to livestock; and we want to educate our local communities that by producing our own food in the traditional methods of our local area we in fact create the habitats, the bio-diversity, landscaping benefits and so on.”

Further information on the 10th Anniversary Orchard project and nomination forms can be found online at the CNPA website, www.cairngorms.co.uk, or by e-mailing orchards@cairngorms.co.uk

The national park was established in 2003 to ensure the unique aspects of the area are cared for and enhanced.