Why is it always so cold when Greener Leith holds a pruning day in the Children’s Orchard on Leith Links? Answer is that it is always in the middle of February and there is not much shelter between it and the north pole…
Despite the freezing weather excellent progress was made by some enthusiastic volunteers. Now in its fourth year, most of the trees are man-high and according to our ‘botanical gardens pruning expert’, they have plenty of fruiting buds on them. All we need is a reasonable summer. Greener Leith is also in the process of applying for more funding to make the orchard more user-friendly, especially for local schools. The plan is to install some picnic benches to create an outdoor class room and get help from the schools to create labels for the trees. A new notice board by the entrance should help to publicise any events more effectively.
Some people have commented in the past that the orchard would benefit from more maintenance. On this front Edinburgh Council have agreed that they are happy to carry out strimming and mowing, but an interesting side effect of the lack of maintenance has been that a large population of common voles has been reported, who actually thrive in the long grass. For this reason not all of the area will get mown, just mown paths through the orchard. The edges will be left to the voles.
Greener Leith also commissioned Leith Late to paint a mural; I am told that the orange represents the flow of cider! We can but live in hope, but it certainly has cheered up an otherwise uninspiring brick wall.