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Schools plant orchards in the Strath

28th February 2014

Deshar and Abernethy Primary Schools are the first in Speyside to plant their very own orchards to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Cairngorms National Park.

Following a hugely successful campaign last year to find orchard sites, Deshar and Abernethy primary schools were two of 18 sites selected and planted their orchards today.

The idea behind the orchards is to encourage communities to use their green spaces and become more sustainable by growing their own food. Each orchard will contain eight trees, a mixture of apple, plum and pear, all will be heritage varieties that are native to Scotland.

Andrew Lear ‘The Appletree Man’, has provided the trees from his Perthshire nursery. The weather in the Cairngorms can often be harsh so he has specially selected hardy varieties of trees to cope with the Scottish climate. Andrew was on hand to help the schools plant their trees and will be available to give expert advice on caring for them as they grow.

Howard Edge, Head Teacher of both the schools said; “We are delighted to be planting these orchards. Both schools already have gardens growing produce as part of our Eco School work, and the orchards will be a great addition to those. ”

The project is the result of a partnership between the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Soil Association’s Cairngorms Food for Life programme. The Food for Life programme aims to increase knowledge, consumption and production of local food.

Glynis Ross, the Cairngorms Food for Life Officer said; “I am passionate about local food production and it has been a fantastic to work on this project and watch other people get enthusiastic too. It is particularly exciting to see children getting involved through the schools, because it is vital that this knowledge is passed on to the next generation.”