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Forres fruit orchards project looking for volunteers

By Garry McCartney

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Fruit trees between Gordon Street and the Mosset.
Fruit trees between Gordon Street and the Mosset.

AN environmental group is looking for volunteers to help cultivate a community project.

Having already planted fruit trees at sites in Mannachie park and by the Mosset duck pond, the Forres Community Orchards (FCO) team of five are looking to expand the enterprise.

FCO member Nick Molnar explained: “We would like to encourage more people to join the steering group and enjoy sharing horticultural skills. We need help with publicity, social media and website development, fund raising and increasing community and schools involvement. Any offers from individuals or local businesses towards signage, benches, general maintenance, etc would be most welcome.”

A number of people attended a winter pruning class FCO held in the walled garden at Newbold House. FCO also added a tree to the orchard at the Mosset to the sound of a piper in memorial to the father of a local family.

“So far the 17 trees that have been planted in Mannachie Park and the eight by the Mosset duck pond are a mixture of plum, pear, quince and apple,” said Mr Molnar. “The apple trees include a number of old Scottish varieties such as Beauty of Moray, Cambusnethan Pippin and Scotch Bridget.

“It will take a number of years before the young trees will produce a significant amount of fruit which could be made into juice, chutney, jam and purées, as well as eaten fresh.

“It would be nice to imagine that there would eventually be enough fresh fruit to share at community harvesting days, as well as the food bank, Community Café, church groups, schools, and more.

“In the meantime, we are interested in buying a fruit press which could be used by residents struggling to use abundant fruit in their own gardens. This was one of the ideas raised at Moray Council’s public consultation and would be an excellent example of the type of activity that the Scottish Government is asking all local authorities to encourage through the Local Food Strategy.”

Email nicpip@googlemail.com or message the Forres Community Orchard Facebook page for more information.

The young fruit orchard at Mannachie park.
The young fruit orchard at Mannachie park.

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