Kinneil could be a plum site for an orchard

IMG_6909RESIDENTS are being asked to share their views on plans to recreate the historic orchard at Kinneil House in Bo’ness.

Forth Environment Link (FEL) is carrying out an online consultation (via http://j.mp/orchard-survey). It is also asking people to come along and share their views at the next Kinneil House open day on Saturday, August 29.
Free apple cake will be offer as an extra incentive to attract local people.

The book "The Days of Duchess Anne" claims pears, apples, plums, cherries, gooseberries, currant berries, peaches and apricots were all once produced at Kinneil for the then owners, the Hamilton family. The fruit trees are said to have taken up space in land to the east of the "palace section" at Kinneil House, behind what is now Kinneil Museum.

Diane Alderdice, the project co-ordinator for the Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative at FEL, said: "We hope people will come along for a chat at the Kinneil open day and discuss plans to re-create the old orchard. We’re particularly keen to hear from people who would like to get involved in the planning, planting, care and management of the orchard.

"We would also like to find out how you would like to be involved – for example, to help design, plant or maintain the trees, use the fruit, be on a management group, or show people round."

She continued: "At the open day we’ll be asking people to fill in a short tick-box survey. As an incentive, we will give a free piece of apple cake to anyone completing the survey (while stocks last).  There will also be some orchard activities for the children at the stall while parents and adults chat."

The FEL team will be at the rear of Kinneil Museum from noon to 3 p.m. on August 29.

Maria Ford, the chair of the Friends of Kinneil, welcomed the consultation. "I’m pleased that Forth Environment Link is getting involved," she said. "Hopefully the end result will be the recreation of the old orchard at Kinneil. The idea was set out in the estate’s masterplan, which was endorsed by Falkirk Council earlier this year. But plans like this really get going when there’s strong community support. I hope people will come along and share their views on August 29 – and visit Kinneil House and Museum at the same time."

Forth Environment Link is working in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust – which manages Kinneil Estate for Falkirk Council. It is also working with the Trust to explore orchard plans for the Muiravonside and Helix Parks. The Trust is funding the work with money from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Said Diane: "We want to build up a picture of what people’s views, needs and wants are, and to develop a plan for these sites and for the future. In the longer-term, the aim is that people will have access free and sustainably produced local food. We want to bring local people together to develop a sense of shared ownership of the orchard resource."

If you’re unable to attend the Kinneil open day on August 29, you can also complete the "Fruit for our Futures" online survey at http://j.mp/orchard-survey (before Monday, September 7).
You can also find out more about FEL’s work to promote local orchards at http://j.mp/orchard-blog

For more information, contact Diane Alderdice by email: diane@forthenvironmentlink.org or call 01786 449215.

You can find out more about Kinneil House, and its open days, at www.kinneil.org.ukW

PICTURED: Diane Alderdice (above left) and Margaret Miller, from Forth Environment Link’s Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative, get ready for the Kinneil House open day on August 29.

NOTES TO EDITORS:
1.    Forth Environment Link (FEL) works with communities and partners across Forth Valley on environmental and food issues. Covering the local authority areas of Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk, FEL combines environmental education and awareness with project support through the Stirling Cycle Hub;  Grow Forth, local food initiative; Forth Valley Orchards programme and the Zero Waste Communities project. FEL is a Scottish Charity, Number SCO 019 276. Find out more at http://www.forthenvironmentlink.org/

2.    The Friends of Kinneil was set up in 2006 to promote Kinneil Estate and Foreshore in Bo’ness. The charity organises Kinneil House open days and other events for members and visitors. (No. SC038368) To find out more, visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk

3.    Falkirk Community Trust manages Kinneil Museum and the surrounding Kinneil Estate on behalf of Falkirk Council. Find out more at: http://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org

4.    Historic Scotland, which cares for Kinneil House, is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk. Follow Historic Scotland on Twitter: @welovehistory and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/visithistoricscotland

5.    Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email: publicity@kinneil.org.uk

6.    Kinneil House and Estate are on the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, just off the A904 and A993 and is part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site. The John Muir Way also runs through the site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR.