Community Orchard


On the 26th January pupils and staff from Leith Walk Primary, aided and abetted by members of Friends of Montgomery Street Park and coordinated by John Hancox of The Commonwealth Orchard, planted the seeds of what will be a lasting legacy.  Montgomery Street Park now has its very own community orchard.

20 apple trees were planted at the eastern end of the park and include a whole range of tree varieties whose fruit will be, in time, conducive to both cooking and eating fresh from the tree.  The varieties planted include:

Winter Gem - heavy cropping; Doncaster Pearmain - valued for its cider making potential; Blenheim Orange - good for making 'Apple Charlotte'; Red Falstaff - good for juicing; Red Windsor - also known as "Sweet Lilibet"; Red Devil - developed by the influential English apple enthusiast Hugh Ermen; Greensleeves - hard and sharp early in the season but mellows later; James Grieve - a versatile cooker, excellent for juicing; Laxton’s Superb - the definitive late Victorian Dessert apple.

Many thanks and congratulations to all those who helped with such a fruitful event.  Thanks as well to those who contributed their energy to our initial application for funding for the orchard, those who voted for our application at the Leith Decides event and of course the Funders themselves, Leith Neighborhood Partnership.

Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from the day and from previous event sin your local community park.  If you are looking for more information on the different varieties which constitute our orchard is well worth a visit.

Tree Planting

As many of you know, at the end of 2010, FoMSP was awarded funding from Leith Decides to plant a small apple orchard in Montgomery Street Park. We are all very excited that the community voted to fund the orchard and we hope it will grow to be a great asset to the park and the neighbourhood! The date for planting the trees has been set for:

Wednesday, 26th January

9:30 - 12:15 Help! We need people with strong backs to help dig 20 deep holes!
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch and teas/coffees will be provided.
1:15 - 2:15 Children from Leith Walk Primary will come and plant the trees
2.15 - 3ish We'll need some adult volunteers to help tidy up.

Spades and equipment will be provided, though people should bring gloves and wear old clothes as they will get dirty.

Please pass the word along. If you can spare some time and effort, please come out to help us make Montgomery Street Park brighter, greener, and more fruitful!

Community Orchard Funding Secured!


Great News!

Our proposal for funding for an orchard was successful at the Leith Decides event on Saturday the 27th November.  This means we will be awarded £800.00 towards the cost of buying and planting apple trees for the park!  This is a project which the Friends of Montgomery Street Park will be undertaking alongside staff and pupils at Leith Walk Primary.

Head Teacher Stewart Crabb wrote to say how excited they are at the prospect:

“The orchard project presents a wonderful opportunity for the school to become further involved in the community. Our children would be involved from the planting stage through growing and harvest of the apples. This presents children with a chance to grow an interest and curiosity for trees. The harvesting stage would help us encourage healthy eating.”

This will be a great addition to your local park and will leave a legacy for many generations to come, improving the attractiveness of the park and the area (for birds and insects as too); create an ongoing educational resource for Leith Walk Primary, and other local schools; help absorb carbon and reduce food air miles; provide a focus for community events such as an autumn apple pressing festival and provide a source of free healthy food for everyone!

They say “the best time to plant a fruit tree is 20 years ago but the next best time is now!”  (well, after the snow has thawed anyway!)

Many thanks to all who undertook the great effort involved in the preparation of the funding application and presentation of our ‘pitch’ at the Leith Decides event, particularly Chris Rankin, Julienne Thurrott and Christine Rigouleau as well as John Hancox of the Commonwealth Orchard and of course everyone who voted for our proposal on the day!

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