Nursery kids help plant new orchard

Rothienorman kids take a well earned rest.
Rothienorman kids take a well earned rest.

Dozens of nursery school children and sponsors have planted trees to create an orchard in the gardens of an Aberdeenshire micro-distillery.

Thirty-five apple trees have been planted at Maryfield of Blackford, near Inverurie with Rothienorman Nursery School as part of a Spring project.

The orchard is expected to bear its first fruit in the next two to three years enabling Blackford Craft Distillery to produce North East Scotland’s first commercial cider.

Katie Sime, distillery co-owner, said “We plan to plant a further 70 apple trees on an acre of land at Maryfield over the next two years as part of our ‘branch to bottle’ philosophy.

“This will help preserve Scottish heritage apple tree varieties and we were are particularly pleased to have sourced the North East’s local apple trees ‘Tower of Glamis’ and ‘Beauty of Moray’ from endangered ancient orchards across Scotland.”

She added: “As a small business within a close-knit village community, we really wanted to get people involved, particularly the school.

“The orchard is a fantastic educational resource, not only planting trees but going forward we hope to maintain a relationship with the school so that when the trees start bearing fruit the children will be able to pick and eat the fruit themselves.

“First-hand knowledge of where food comes from is something not all children have the opportunity to experience. They will also be able to see the wildlife attracted to the surrounding land, which is perfect for outdoor learning. I want to say a big thank you to all the children who had such fun planting and all worked really hard.”