Group shocked to the core by community fruit thefts

The Cupar FAB group has worked extremely hard to create the community orchard.

The Cupar FAB group has worked extremely hard to create the community orchard.

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The group behind Cupar’s community orchard has condemned the thoughtless vandals who’ve stripped the trees of unripe fruit for the third year running.

Sustainable Cupar Fruit and Blossom (FAB) say that all 30 trees in the orchard in Millgate and along Orchard Walk have been targeted.

“The trees have been stripped of apples, pears and plums before they were ready to eat,” said a spokesperson.

“This act, possibly by one individual, has denied members of the group and the wider Cupar community the rewards of the many FAB volunteers’ labour over the past three years.

“The Fruit and Blossom volunteers have revitalised the neglected site by removing dead stock, pruning, mulching and planting spring bulbs.

“With the aid of public grants, more fruit trees were planted by the group and this has doubled the existing stock within the main community orchard at Orchard Walk.

“In conjunction with Fife Council, a maintenance and bio-diversity programme has been implemented. The site has been visibly improved.

“Posters were recently placed along the walk to let visitors know that the orchard is a community project to raise awareness of fruit growing and encourage community fruit-based events.

“The group appreciates that the orchard site is on public land and available to all. However, it is regrettable that the volunteers have had little benefit from the harvest.

“Indeed, some of the young fruit trees planted by children in the group have been stripped of their apples this year. What does this teach the next generation about community and sharing?”

Meanwhile FAB is pressing ahead with its popular community fruit pressing event, which takes place at Orchard Walk between noon and 3.00 p.m. on October 26.

A fruit press will be hired for the day, giving members of the public the chance to press their own fruit, and the group has invested in a set of apple pickers which can be borrowed if the fruit is too high to pick by hand.

If anyone needs help picking their apples or pears, they are asked to contact 01334 653433.

In addition, FAB also organises a community fruit order, whereby individuals can benefit from a bulk order of fruit trees and soft fruit at very reasonable cost - a venture that has resulted in the planting of more than 150 trees in the Cupar area.

The trees come complete with post, tie and bone meal. Anyone interested in this offer is asked to contact Nicky Allison on 01334 655262.

Sustainable Cupar is a local community group that was set up in 2009 to help Cupar become a thriving, environmentally friendly town.

The group aims to raise awareness of green issues and to promote and support changes to more sustainable lifestyles.

Sustainable Cupar is open to anyone with an interest in the future of the town and has a number of sub-groups that concentrate on particular areas, including the natural environment, energy, transport, and the Cupar North development.

For more information, visit www.sustainablecupar.org.