Digging for past, present and future

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THE Go Greener orchard is flourishing thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers — and the team have been digging up more than soil.

The community orchard, based in Rouken Glen park, opened in February this year — a project aimed at providing the community with their own apples for picking.

Despite a setback in April when the group’s wooden benches were stolen from the site, the orchard has now attracted more than 20 volunteers from the community, including help from Friends of Rouken Glen park, East Refrewshire council, Voluntary Action and the East Ren CHCP.

Vice chair Savio D’Souza hopes to appeal to more residents by branding it as the Glen Gym — a chance to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors while helping out with the green initiative.

He told The Extra: “To date we’ve had around 20 volunteers helping with the borders, edging and applying three tonnes of mulch around the bushes.

“What’s exciting about the community orchard is that it brings together different sectors, ages, generations, local businesses and the council for a common project — to raise awareness of how rewarding and fun growing locally can be.

“It’s great to see people coming together, and the orchard will be our legacy for future generations, showing that we tried to set in motion changes to save the planet”.

The team may be working for the benefit of future generations, but planting at the orchard has also dug up reminders of park’s past.

While preparing the ground for mulch, volunteer Euan Kaye, from Carts Greenspace (another green group, covering East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire) came upon a Victoria clay medicine bottle.

A seasoned Rouken Glen digger, Euan has come across the artefact before — but this is the first one he has ever found intact.

Savio commented: “It’s really important to us when we come across these historical finds, as they can remind us of our links with the area’s past as well.

“An item like this provides 
an interesting link between 
the history of the park and its future”.

While a few more artefacts would be needed for a Rouken Glen orchard museum exhibition, the vice chair added that it is “something we could look at” should more items surface.

For now, Go Greener is focused on digging up new volunteers — and anyone wishing to offer their services can pitch in this Tuesday, as the team will be on site from 1-3pm.

To find out more, visit the Go Greener website.