Three small orchards are planted by pioneer project 

Poppy and Flora Murdoch planting an apple tree in Lochranza.

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Last weekend the Arran Pioneer Project CIC planted fruit and nut trees and fruit bushes on three sites around Arran.

Volunteers of all ages were given a demonstration of how to plant a variety of trees, including apples, pears, plums, cherries, walnuts and a damson tree, along with gooseberry, raspberry, elderberry and blackcurrant bushes.

The tree planting took place on three sites across the island, in Lochranza, Lamlash and Kilpatrick.


Tree varieties were selected with the assistance of specialist knowledge to identify types of tree that are likely to do well on Arran, not only bearing fruit but resisting wet and windy weather here.

Development of these small orchards are a part of the local social enterprise’s long term vision to turn unused land on Arran over to food production.

Since starting in March 2020, volunteers from the pioneer project have worked on sites in five separate villages and there are plans to develop additional spaces in the coming year.

Director Simon Ross-Gill said: ‘We all enjoyed a terrific weekend planting trees, and it was personally very rewarding to see so many people involved from different age groups.


‘We believe that Arran can grow much more of its own fruit, and we hope to plant plenty more fruit trees and bushes around the island in the future.’

The trees were purchased using a mix of funding, from the National Lottery Communities Fund, The Lamlash Co-op and from a crowdfunder on GofundMe.

A further 16 apple trees will be planted later in March, which have been donated by Arran Distillers Ltd.

If anyone would like to find out more about the project and how to get involved, please visit pioneerproject.scot and check out their crowdfunder on https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-arran-pioneer-project-cic