Inverclyde Community Fund
Gourock Man Praised For Planting 160 Fruit Trees Across Inverclyde
A hardworking Gourock man deserves some apple-ause after setting up a network of orchards across Inverclyde.
With help from communities the length and breadth of the district, Bruce Newlands has planted no fewer than 160 apple trees in 10 locations.
The Inverclyde Orchard Project has been made possible thanks to a £5,000 cash injection via the Inverclyde Community Fund's sustainability award.
People have mucked in to help Bruce, founder, and treasurer of Inverclyde Shed, plant Scottish heritage apple tree varieties which will provide a mixture of eating and cooking apples for many years to come.
Inverclyde Shed has created growing spaces at:
Lomond View Academy
Branchton Community Centre
The Little Sisters of the Poor care home
Muirshiel Lane gardens
St Margaret's Church
Wellington Park Bowling Club
Before the planting project, he completed a course on how to set up a community orchard network. He was delighted to see people getting involved in the planting sessions.
Bruce said: "This is a great way to use brownfield sites and encourage local communities to get involved with food growing skills, tackling food poverty and reducing carbon.
"It's much better to plant fruit trees than any other kind of trees.
"They're good for the bees and they provide a rich food source."
Bruce said he particularly enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm of the young people who got involved in the planting.
It's hoped the trees will teach the youngsters about responsibility as they're helping to preserve a legacy within their communities.
Bruce added: "These are small trees but they will last for 25 years, so it's a long-term thing.
"It's great when you're working with the kids and you see a lightbulb go on above their heads and you realise they're truly understanding what we're doing and why we're doing it.
"These kids are from the generation that will have to look after these orchards in the future, so it's vital they learn about their importance now."
This article appeared in the Greenock Telegraph.