‘Scotmid Community Orchard’ funding will allow fruit trees and bushes to be planted across the communities Scotmid serves. The sites, of five or more plants, will then form part of a Scotland-wide orchard of thousands of trees and bushes.
The retailer is seeking a group near each of its stores to plant five or more fruit trees or bushes within a community space. They will award £200 to each successful applicant, to fund the purchase of plants.
The initiative has been created to encourage people to work together, increasing physical activity and improving local environments.
Orchards offer volunteering opportunities throughout the year as well as the chance to learn new skills, create habitats for wildlife and produce an array of edible produce.
John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid, said: “We love the idea that lots of people doing something simple locally, like planting fruit trees or bushes, not only benefits those close to them but allows them to be part of something so much bigger – an orchard spanning hundreds of miles weaving through our Scottish communities.
“We all recognise the value that green spaces bring. Scotmid is thrilled to provide the funding for our communities to plant, grow, learn, and let nature thrive.”
Karen Davidson from Social Farms and Gardens, who is providing advice to budding growers, said: “We are so excited to see Scotmid leading the way, creating a network of micro-orchards across Scotland through this funding.”
“Community orchards are part of a local food system. Promoting the health benefits of fresh produce and outdoor exercise to people of all age groups, orchards are excellent places for people to come together and enjoy the outdoors, whilst providing a focal point for community activities.”
The initiative will also launch across the northeast of England through Lakes & Dales Co-op.
Scotmid and Lakes & Dales Co-op are seeking a group near each of their stores across Scotland and North East England to plant five or more fruit trees or bushes.
Applications close on 20 January 2023.