Update Sunday Lunchtime 3 December
Dozens of people including lots of children have been out on the Laigh Hills today planting fruit trees - a great success!
Help Plant an Orchard on the Laigh Hills
Improving Access to the Laigh Hills
Members of the Laigh Hills Park Masterplan Steering Group have managed to secure a significant sum of money from the European funded Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) to Improve Public Access to the Laigh Hills. Almost 2km of improved paths and steps with drainage, seats, signs and fingerposts will be constructed by Stirling Council’s in house team from early November
An Orchard in the Laigh Hills
Thanks to a grant obtained by the Laigh Hills Steering Group from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund, we hope to plant some 300 fruit trees in early December. This time we will need help from the wider community to help plant the trees Further details will be posted closer to the planting dates. The fruit trees will include a Scottish Apple Collection, a Plum Collection, Modern Apples – Dessert (eaters) and Cookers, a Scottish Pear Collection, Damsons and other fruits
Some Background : A Community Orchard was alluded to in the Laigh Hills Park Dunblane Strategic Landscape Master Plan 2014. This document and process had wide community support. The development of a "heritage" orchard or orchards on the Laigh Hills -- particularly on the sites that have bracken problems at the moment -- would be the first phase of the Community Orchard development.
The orchard will provide free fruit for walkers and encourage active recreational use of the Park whilst enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The community, through a friends group, would be involved in planting and maintaining the trees.
The orchard will focus on establishing heritage fruit trees, including apples, pears and plums and suitable varieties of bare rooted stock will be obtained from a local fruit tree nursery. Tree will be staked and guards will protect the young trees from deer, voles and rabbits. The trees will be planted by volunteers from the community and from local schools and expert site visit and advice and will also be used to ensure that the orchard is successfully established. As well as providing fruit, the orchard will be an attractive feature in the Park and will attract more wildlife to the area.
For the really interested the list of varieties planned, follow these links
Join the ‘Friends of the Laigh Hills’
The play facilities at the Laigh Hills are due for improvement by Stilring Council – this from funds provided by developers over the years. More news shortly.