Forth Environment Link has announced the launch of a third round of funding of its Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013.

The scheme, supported by the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund 2012, aims to encourage anyone with an interest in orchards – including communities, schools, public agencies and landowners - to plant and manage orchards, use them for learning or celebrations, or use the fruit more productively.

Forth Environment Link Project Co-ordinator, Diane Alderdice, said, “We are delighted that we are able to run this grant scheme again.  In the past two years, over 15 hectares of new orchards have been planted across the Central Scotland Green Network area by over 100 communities and landowners in community open space, schools, community allotments and gardens. Derelict or unused land has also been brought back into productive use and open spaces have been improved.

We are looking forward to receiving applications that create and look after orchards, and bring people together to have fun in events to use and celebrate orchards.  There are many benefits to be gained in getting outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, socialising, exercising, and learning how fresh fruit contributes to a healthy diet.  We know that creating orchards has given communities a renewed sense of pride in their community.  Successful applicants will join a growing network of orchard activity in the Forth Valley and Central Scotland Green Network area.”

Forth Environment Link Executive Director, Jane Cullingworth, said, “In addition to the grant scheme, we are happy to announce a programme of comprehensive orchard support to six schools across the Forth Valley.  We encourage schools to express their interest through the grant scheme.  We look forward to working with school communities to maximise the benefits, learning and joy of school-based orchards. ”

Mike Strachan, Forestry Commission Scotland, said, "Forth Environment Link is leading the revival of orchards across Scotland.  They have a very dedicated team always willing to help and provide impartial advice.  Their success has been down to a lot of hard work, forging partnerships and an inclusive approach to everybody.  We are very pleased to be able to support them not just for this coming year, but for a further two after that."

The Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013 is open to all groups and individuals in the Central Scotland Green Network area, as long as they can demonstrate wider community involvement in the design, creation and management of the project, and can provide evidence of landowner approval.

Grants of between £100 and £500 are available for designing and creating new orchards, managing traditional or other existing orchards, enhancing orchard biodiversity, and developing orchards as a learning ground.

Up to 100% of project funding is available, although applicants are encouraged to find match-funding from other sources either in cash, or in-kind.

Priority will be given to applications that meet the Central Scotland Green Network geographic and thematic priorities, including: areas of multiple deprivation; vacant and derelict land; enterprise and regeneration, and stronger communities.

Applications should be completed online. To find out more about the grant scheme and apply please visit the Forth Valley Orchards website. The deadline for the receipt of applications is midnight on Monday, 10 September 2012.

For information about the scheme, please contact Amparo Echenique, Project Assistant, Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01786 449215.