Scottish Apple Days

A photo of baskets filled with apples and people gathered around an apple press

LAST UPDATED: 29 Sep 2016

We are entering a rather exciting time of the year for the orchard community. Over September and October there is lots to harvest and even more to celebrate! We thought we’d make it easier for everyone to get involved by collecting information on Apple Days and related harvest celebrations around Scotland.

Our lovely new volunteer, Lesley Anderson, has started collecting the information last week and below we provide a summary of what she’s collated to date. We know that the list barely scratches the surface of what’s out there so please contact Kaska on animateur@scotlandthefruit.org.uk to make sure that your event is included.

It is so great to see so much celebration gathering momentum around Scottish orchards! We will be joining in at the Fruit Festival in Perth on the 8th of October so please come and say hello!

If you happen to be south of the border, People’s Trust for Endangered Species has what looks like a very comprehensive list of Apple Days for England and Wales here.

 

Date Town -Area Event name Organisation Link to event info
10-Sep-2016 Dunkeld – Perthshire Big Apple Day Dunkeld and Burnam Community Orchard Click here for more info
14-Sep-2016 Edinburgh Holyrood Apple Day Scottish Fruit Trees Click here for more info
17-Sep-2016 Carnoustie – Angus Barry Mill Apple Day Barry Mill Click here for more info
17-Sep-2016 Bo’ness -Falkirk Roman in The Orchard – Family Fun Afternoon Forth Enviroment Link/ Friends of Kinneil Orchard Group Click here for more info
17-Sep-2016 Resolis -Black Isle Apple Juicing at Resolis Country Show Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
17-Sep-2016 North Kessock -Black Isle Apple Juicing at North Kessock Market Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
24-Sep-2016 Pitmedden – Aberdeenshire Apples & Cornkisters National Trust For Scotland Click here for more info
24-Sep-2016 North Kessock -Black Isle Apple Juicing at North Kessock Market Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
25-Sep-2016 Resolis -Black Isle Grow North Workshop: Fruit care Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
25-Sep-2016 Rosyth – Fife Apple pressing at the Rosyth Market EATS Rosyth Click here for more info
25-Sep-2016 Buckhaven, Fife Open Day and Apple Pressing CLEAR Buckhaven Click here for more info
1-Oct-2016 Newburgh – Fife Apple Market Newburgh Orchard Group Click here for more info
1-Oct-2016 Fochabers – Moray Apple & Chilli Day Gordon Castle Walled Garden Click here for more info
1-Oct-2016 Forres – Moray Harvest Festival Newbold Trust Click here for more info
1-Oct-2016 Crossford – South Lanarkshire Clyde Valley Fruit Day Clyde Valley Orchard Cooperative and Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership Click here for more info
2-Oct-2016 Edinburgh Apple Day Royal Botanic Garden with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Click here for more info
tbc October Newburgh – Fife Apple Day Newburgh Orchard Group Click here for more info (details to be confirmed)
5-Oct-2016 Cyrenian’s Farm, Kirknewton- West Lothian If Life Gives You Apples…celebrating apples and how they can generate income Growing Together Click here for more info
8-Oct-2016 Haddington East Lothian Amisfield Garden Apple day Amisfield Walled Garden Click for more info here
8-Oct-2016 Cromarty -Black Isle Apple Juicing at Cromarty Market Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
8-Oct-2016 Harestanes -Borders Apple Day Borders Organic Gardeners Click here for more info
8-Oct-2016 Perth – Perthshire Fruit Festival Tay Landscape Partnership Click here for more info
8-9-Oct-2016 St Andrews – Fife Autumn Festival St Andrews Botanic Garden Click here for more info
9-Oct-2016 Harestanes – Borders Apple Day Borders Organic Gardeners Click here for more info
9-Oct-2016 Comrie – Perthshire Apple Day Comrie Development Trust Click here for more info
12 October 2016 Glasgow Gorbals Apple Day Rose Garden Orchard and Helping Britain Blossom Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Coupar-Angus – Angus Apple Pressing Day Forward Coupar Angus and Coupar Angus Food and Growing Projects Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Culbokie – Black Isle Apple Juicing at Ferintosh Market Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Coldstream – Scottish Borders Garden Cottage Open Day Red Shed Nursery Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Livingston -West Lothian Apple Day at Bellsquarry Wood Woodlland Trust Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Tayport – Fife Ferryport Fruitfest PLANT and Tayport Community Trust Click here for more info
15-Oct-2016 Kirckaldy – Fife Apple Day at Ravenscraig Walled Garden Greener Kirckaldy Click here for more info
22-Oct-2016 Dundee Community Harvest Dundee Urban Orchards and Dundee Botanic Garden Click here for more info
22-Oct-2016 Auldgirth, Dumfries Apple Day Allanton Sanctuary Click here for more info
29-Oct-2016 Whitecross -West Lothian Apple Army – Orchard Celebration Falkirk Community Trust Click here for more info
29-Oct-2016 North Kessock -Black Isle Apple Juicing at North Kessock Market Transition Black Isle Click here for more info
29-Oct-2016 Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway Apple Day Scottish Greens (Dumfries and Galloway) Click here for more info
30-Oct-2016 Edinburgh Family Apple Day at Green Hub, Inverleith Park New Caledonian Woodlands Click here for more info
30-Oct-2016 Buckhaven, Fife Open Day: Haloween and Apple Party CLEAR Buckhaven Click here for more info

Signs of orchard revival in the Fruit Basket of Scotland

A photo overlooking the orchard in a valley

We had a really exciting day visiting the Clyde Valley on the 11th August. The area was once known as the Fruit Basket of Scotland, and the National Orchard Inventory desk study (PDF 3Mb) identified it, together with the rest of the surrounding South Lanarkshire, as the Scottish orchard hotspot – with 210 orchard sites, covering 133 hectares.

Our excitement was not dampened by the heavy showers, nor by the sight of neglected fruit trees we spotted on our drive through the valley. After all, we were on the way to meet with the wonderful people who have been doing sterling work restoring the traditional orchard heritage in the area – the Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative (CVOC, originally known as Clyde Valley Orchard Group) and the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP).

Photo of Duncan and Crispin at a computer

First, we popped in to visit Duncan Arthur, a director of CVOC, to train him as our Local Facilitator for the Inventory field survey. The training was delivered overlooking his lovely orchard at Hazelbank, one of 15 or so recently restored by the group with help from CAVLP, including their pride and joy, Kirkfieldbank Community Orchard. It was great to see Duncan’s enthusiasm for the restoration of the orchards in the area, and we are very excited that participation in the Inventory will provide the group with useful information to better target their projects while also contributing to the national inventory data set. You can listen to Duncan speak about their work on BBC Radio Scotland’s “The Kitchen Cafe” programme here (his bit starts at 8 min 30 sec, available for the next 24 days).

If you are interested in helping out with the Inventory in South Lanarkshire, Duncan is recruiting field orchard mapping volunteers right now – more details here. Or you can simply pop in for a taste of Clyde Valley’s very own apple juice at the CVOC’s annual Fruit Day on the 1st of October.

A photo of Crispin, Ewan and Kirsten around a table

Next, we headed for another picturesque location, the heritage site of New Lanark, to meet with CAVLP project officers Kirsten and Ewan. CAVLP has been supporting the practical orchard restoration work by CVOC, including funding for planting of 1,000 new fruit trees across the Valley, orchard skills training and the recent contribution towards the Inventory project itself (more details here).

CAVLP are also running a wider heritage project – Capturing the Past – to “identify, record and celebrate the industrial, horticultural and agricultural heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valleys”. This encompasses the local fruit growing history and is recording local people’s fruit-inspired stories, songs and recipes. All of this wonderful history will be gathered in an online museum, including an entry documenting the rise, decline, and recent revival of the orchards in the area. We discussed how the data collected by Duncan and his volunteers would enhance these outputs, from producing maps of local orchards through time, to identifying interesting orchard tales for the area’s oral history project.

While we all wait for the virtual museum exhibits, which are planned to make an appearance around Christmas, you can get a real taste of area’s fruity heritage at CLAVLP’s “Tasting Through Time” workshops in September.

After seeing how the involvement with the Inventory is palpably helping local projects in Clyde Valley, we drove back home re-energised and buzzing with excitement about its potential to enhance orchard revival Scotland-wide.

Help Highland orchards get on the map

A map of Isle of Eigg Community Orchard

A map of Isle of Eigg Community Orchard for our field volunteer information packs

We are putting final touches on the orchard maps for our local Orchard Inventory volunteers. Each one of 1741 Scottish orchards identified in the Inventory’s desk study has its own map which is used by a volunteer to verify its current location, size and condition during the field visit. Katherine Bellamy, our GIS guru, is working on the last few maps for the 129 of the Highland orchards right now. We asked her to pick a couple that caught her eye.

Community Orchard on Isle of Eigg, planted in 2010, is one of the youngest in the Highland and Island area. Despite its young age it has some fascinating history behind it. Since its community buy-out 19 years ago, the island has become world-famous in environmental and land-reform circles and the orchard seems to have been established as a part of the community initiative for the island to go green.

Photo of people planting trees in a brown field

Community planting the orchard on Eigg. There are more photos here. (By isleofeigg,CC BY-SA 2.0)

The orchard still seems to be in fine fettle today. How do we know? It regularly features on social media around May each year as one of the Highlands and Islands bluebell beauty spots!

Image of a flowering apple tree with bluebells flowering underneath

Eigg Orchard in May this year (By @EiggOrganic)

Another of Katherine’s favourites was an orchard at Letterewe Estate. It won her prize for the most remote mainland location as it can only be accessed by boat across Loch Maree. This one is much more mysterious. All we know about it is that it appears on the Ordnance Survey maps from 1860 and it was likely a part of the Estate’s walled garden at the time. This is quite exciting as it may still contain some very old fruit trees. But we won’t know for sure until somebody pays it a visit!

We need local field volunteers to verify the findings of our desk study by visiting orchard sites like these in the Highlands and elsewhere in Scotland. For the full list of the areas we need help with please, and instructions on how to get in touch, please see our previous post.