We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to bring our heritage skills training programme in community orchard management, – known as CICO, to North Lanarkshire in Scotland.
This exciting new programme, called Fruitful North Lanarkshire, will run for three years. It is set to provide skills training and a potential route to work for 50 people, as well as upskilling 200 local community volunteers in planting and pruning techniques. This will result in the preservation and establishment of up to ten heritage orchards in North Lanarkshire, as well as enhancing biodiversity.
Caroline Clark, Director for Scotland at The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), said:
“Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to. This fantastic project will not only give community volunteers new ‘green’ skills in orchard management, but will support our important natural heritage too.
“We are proud to support Fruitful North Lanarkshire, thanks to players of the National Lottery. This project addresses so many important issues, – routes to employment, wellbeing, reduced isolation, biodiversity, security for local orchards and more. It demonstrates the way supporting our heritage can unlock so much potential for so many people.” – Caroline Clark (NLHF)
The course will teach a combination of theory and practical skills, both in classroom and outdoor orchard settings. The Level 6 (Scotland)/Level 3 (England & Wales) accredited qualification is nationally recognisable to potential employers, and puts participants in a good position to move into paid employment or further training following the course. People will receive employment support from Routes to Work.
The project is another step towards our visionary orchard movement, to see a well-managed community orchard within walking distance of every urban household in the UK. We are excited to get started!