Stirling-based environmental charity Forth Environment Link has announced the award winners of over £16,500 of funding from the Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2011/2012.

Sixty community groups, schools and landowners across the Central Scotland Green Network area are reaping the rewards of the funding, supported by the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund 2011, to establish and manage orchards, increase orchard biodiversity, and use the fruit.

 Forth Environment Link Project Officer, Diane Alderdice said, “We were absolutely delighted with the response from applicants. We are funding such a wide range of interesting and exciting projects this year that I’m confident there will be an enthusiastic response from people wanting to get involved in local events.

“We had applications from schools who were looking at whole school enterprise project to raise money from selling their fruit, and communities for whom creation of an orchard would contribute significantly towards the social and economic regeneration of their area.We were particularly pleased to have awarded private landowners funding to enable them to extend existing orchards and look at ways of generating income from the fruit”.

Forth Environment Link Executive Director, Jane Cullingworth, said, “Clearly there are many communities and individuals across central Scotland with a passion for orchards!We are thrilled to be working with CSGN to provide much needed resources to enable people’s dreams to bear fruit.”

Keith Geddes, Chairman of the CSGN Board, said, "I'm delighted that the 2nd year of the CSGN Orchard Grant Scheme has again proved so popular. The CSGN aims to transform the environment of Central Scotland and orchard projects such as these are a fantastic way of delivering a range of benefits, and fostering community pride in their own surroundings."

For a list of grant award winners visit the Forth Environment Link and Forth Valley Food Link’s websites.