Our People, Our Land, Our History
Shaping Our Future

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Reviving the Orchards

The sheltered slopes of the Clyde Valley were once famous for the fruit they produced. However, the decline of these orchards could result in the loss of a key feature of this landscape, unless we take action.

A once thriving industry

In the 19th century, Clyde Valley was one of the major fruit producers in Scotland, growing apples, pears, gooseberries, plums and strawberries. The slow decline of the local fruit industry started in the 1920s as Scottish growers could not compete with cheap overseas fruit.

The fruit industry here lasted longer than many others in Scotland but today many orchards stand neglected, under-used or are lost completely. 

Unique landscape features

As a valuable part of the valleys' landscape, the orchards:

  • Create a distinctive pattern within the landscape
  • Contain heritage fruit varieties that could be lost
  • Are an important habitat for wildlife and vegetation

It is important that we look after them.


If you don’t use it!

The orchards will continue to decline unless we use them. While we will never recreate the booming fruit industry of the past, we can help people care for them and develop small local enterprises that will guarantee their survival for the future.


What we will do

Our partner, the Rural Development Trust, is working closely with Clyde Valley Orchards Group and other partners to revive the orchards across three themes:

  • Exploring the orchards: build our knowledge about local orchards and their wildlife
  • Growing our orchards: support and build capacity for community and landowners to manage orchards sustainably
  • Celebrating our orchards: raise awareness of the role of orchards in the Clyde Valley, now and in the past