Mapping South Lanarkshire's Orchards
The challenge of mapping every orchard in South Lanarkshire
-by Duncan Arthur, Clyde Valley Orchards, Local facilitator for Orchards Mapping Project
On behalf of the Clyde Valley Orchards, I have taken on the challenge of mapping all the orchards in South Lanarkshire as part of a national initiative to understand the extent and condition of Scotland’s old and new orchards, with a team of volunteers.
The board of Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative Ltd appointed me as the local facilitator. The role is to manage, coordinate, train and motivate a team of volunteers to spend time validating the desk based work that had been supplied by the National Project team. Using data that was taken from old maps and records, some of which date back over 100 years, it has produced a database of 218 sites in the area that either had or still has an orchard.
Following their training session, the volunteers have been out and about trying to work out their pears from their plums, and recording details such as, Is the orchard still there? How many trees are there? What condition are they in? Have there been any new plantings recently? Is the orchard still managed? All this data then gets loaded into the national database, Orchard Inventory Scotland, along with a photographic record which will give us the most comprehensive update on the state of one of our areas most important natural assets.