Although the Clyde Valley orchards are attractive, and often cherished, features of the area there is no doubt that if new markets for their produce are not found, they will disappear from our landscape. For many decades there has been little interest in local fruit. But things are set to change. Mounting concern for healthy eating, the environment, and energy conservation has brought a growing demand for local, high quality produce in the UK and new opportunities for our orchards.
An increasing number of people are establishing successful enterprises from orchard produce, often in combination with social and environmental activities. These are not generally high-income ventures but ways of bringing in a small amount of money while providing other benefits and maintaining the orchards in good condition. There are opportunities for multi-purpose orchards – spaces for a variety of produce such as small livestock, beekeeping, mushrooms grown on logs, and high-value understorey crops. There is also potential for locally branded products such as preserves, cider or fruit juice.
See our Information section for sources of help, advice and funding for new enterprises.