The go-ahead Newburgh Orchard Group has been attracting national and international attention as it continues its work in and around the town.
The group’s latest newsletter highlights a feature on BBC’s Beechgrove Garden when presenter Jim McColl reported on the group, the community garden and the involvement of the local primary school.
There was also interest from an independent film maker, and the group has established a link with France thanks to a visit from a delegation from Thiron Gardais.
The area’s mayor, the youngest in France at only 24, was with a party travelling around Scotland visiting places where there were Thironesian Monasteries.
Newburgh was one of seven sites on their list, and while in the area they took part in a number of events with the orchard group.
These included touring the abbey ruins, visiting some of the many local orchards, and having a meal at the Steeple arts centre.
Group chair Caroline Guthrie said that the visitors had been delighted with the hospitality, and wanted to maintain links with the town.
Caroline said that the orchard group’s recent activities included an educational evening with a talk on apple diseases by Gerben de Vries and a presentation about ancient trees by Judy Dowling of the Ancient Tree Forum.
The Newburgh Orchard Group also organises workshops and holds special markets every year, mainly to sell plums and apples grown in and around the town. It has its own community orchard close to the primary school.
In one bumper year recently 3000lbs of fruit and 600 jars of jam were sold.
The area’s connection to organised fruit growing dates back to 1191, when Lindores Abbey was founded by monks from France.
Their fruit was eaten locally, supplied to the Scottish royal court at Falkland, and also made into alcohol. A 2003 survey looked at over 800 trees in nearly 70 locations, and found a number of varieties of pears, plums and apples
Further information about the group can be found at www.newburghorchards.org.uk