Reviving the Clyde valley orchards : the way forward

What will the landscape of the Clyde Valley look like in years to come? Will the orchards still be there? How can we keep the orchards and create a future for them? The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership are looking for your views on the future of the Valley and how everyone can work together to try and ensure that orchards do remain part of the area’s outstanding landscape.

Orchards are an important part of our local heritage and in their heyday in the 19th century the Clyde Valley was Scotland’s leading commercial fruit producing area. Since then, the markets for local fruit have slowly declined and today some orchards are in danger of being lost. However the orchards are an important feature of our landscape and provide an important resource at a time when local produce is starting to be valued by consumers.

Local people and local organisations are vital to the long term survival of orchards in the Clyde Valley” says Chris Parkin, leading the project with the Rural Development Trust “ We want to hear from orchard owners as well as the wider community on how they see the orchards in the coming decades and what they would like to see done

A specialist consultant, Dr Crispin W. Hayes, has been commissioned to assist the Partnership establish a strategy for reviving the orchards and finding a way forward. The project is a collaboration between Clyde Valley Orchard Group, Rural Development Trust, and Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and is being part financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and part financed by the Scottish Government, European Community, and South Lanarkshire Rural Partnership LEADER Programme.

The Clyde and Avon Valleys Landscape Partnership project is supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund award up to £2millon to the area to strengthen the connection between landowners, the local community and the landscape. The award comprises a £100,000 development award for the first year towards the costs of investigating and consulting on a range of projects that can make a real difference to the way the area looks and works. A further £1.9m award is then made after a successful second round submission, and is towards the costs of the following 5 years when delivery on the ground will take place.