How This Story Began

Kate Pitman had the vision and determination to create a beautiful, natural area in a small section of Kilmore forest for all to enjoy. It is a diverse environment, south facing, sheltered with a burn and gently sloping hill. When Kate had to move from Dervaig members of Dervaig Gardening Group, on an ad-hoc basis, kept the paths, seats and bridges maintained. 

In 2016 members of the Gardening Group have visited a community orchard and garden in Fife and a community garden in Skye. Inspired by these visits the idea of establishing a community orchard and fruit garden in Kate’s area was proposed. 

An approach was made to the Forestry Commission who were  very helpful and supportive. They offered to draw up a formal agreement to hand over management of the area, for an initial period of 10 with an option for another 10 years. 

The idea of developing the orchard was put forward to anyone interested in the community at an open meeting in June, when there was unanimous agreement. The local head teacher was also approached and was very keen for the school to be involved in the project. The school has a small tarmacked playground and a small garden area with a couple of raised beds. A School Gardening Club was established this year and the children were very enthusiastic and are excited by the idea of a community orchard. 

Dervaig Community Orchard Management Group was established in June 2016 with an elected chair, treasurer and secretary. A constitution was drawn up and agreed and bank account opened. The group started to fund raise and increase awareness of the orchard project and how people could become involved.