Last week, we welcomed a royal visitor to one of the community orchards we support in Edinburgh. The Orchard Project been collaborating with City of Edinburgh Council and Friends of Saughton Park to improve their orchard as part of a large renovation of Saughton Park. Our Edinburgh-based Project Manager, Chris Macefield, explains:
Saughton Park has recently undergone a refurbishment, and HRH Princess Anne officially reopened the park on the 6th June. The Orchard Project, in partnership with Bulmers, were called in to assist with improving the orchard that lies within the park. We’ve provided trees, training, technical advice and tools for this community project.
We supported the Friends of Saughton Park members by facilitating the planting of over 40 fruit trees in this historic walled garden, demonstrating how to grow trained trees, such as espaliers, cordons and fan forms. The fruit varieties planted include plum, apple, pear, quince, fig, peach and mulberry.
Sarah Bennett, one of the Friends of Saughton Park members, said “We started out by visiting other orchards and talking to fruit experts and tasting apples before we selected any varieties. It’s been great fun and fingers crossed we will soon have fruit to eat. As a group we are so excited at what lies ahead – we have plans to plant a wild fruit orchard and organise apple days and blossom picnics.”
HRH is the patron of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, which is another partner organisation involved in developing the park. The royal opening was a great celebration of the commitment from local residents and the groups active in supporting the park.
There are plans to develop further areas for fruit growing within the park, along with dedicated wildlife habitat zones, in addition to a ‘Physic Garden’ with lots of interesting medicinal and culinary herbs. To get involved in this exciting project, contact the Sarah Bennett on firstname.lastname@example.org.