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Auchtermuchty pupils plant school orchard

Scheme to get youngsters thinking about the environment, health and diet.

Green fingered pupils at a Fife school have been learning some core skills as they planted their own orchard.

As well as sampling their own fruit, the scheme will teach the children about their carbon footprint, boost their health and benefit the environment.

Children from Auchtermuchty Primary School in Fife have been planting the fruits of the future by creating their very own orchard.

Apples, Plums and Pears will all blossom in the school playground.

It is not just about helping the environment though, the pupils health and carbon footprint will also benefit.

Dorothy Widemann, who is in charge of eco projects at Auchtermuchty Primary School said: "It ties in with such a lot of other initiatives in the school such as healthy eating and sustainable development. It's sort of for generations that they can come up and hopefully at some point pick up an apple and say i planted this, with their children."

Mike Strachan from the Forestry Commission said: "It's really trying to get the children engaged in growing their own fruit, the biodiversity options that are there with the berries, the flowers, what they can do with the fruit. We're hoping to come back in to the school in October with apple presses so they can get fresh apple juice, they can try making apple pies, really to start looking at the healthy options that they have."

It is hoped the orchard will flourish and provide pupils of the future with healthy fruits.

It comes as efforts are made to preserve ancient orchards in Perth and Kinross. The area was renowned for its orchards, introduced to the area by Monks in the 12th century.

Many have been lost over the years to housing development or neglect.

But the Auchtermuchty pupils are now doing their bit to ensure that Orchards remain firmly in Fife's roots.

This is just one of a number of schools that are running similar schemes under the guidance of the Forestry Commission.

Pupils will plant around 600 trees at schools across Tayside and Fife in the next few weeks and in years to come they will be able to watch the fruits of their labour grow.

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