National Orchard Gathering in Dundee

Fergus Walker
11th September, 2015


The second National Orchard Gathering for Scotland is being held in Dundee this October by Orchard Collective Scotland, a social-media based decentralised collective with big ambitions.

The collective formed organically a year ago around a facebook group which now has 300 subscribers and functions as a hub for everything from resolving pruning queries to planning entire new orchards.  Despite having to date no formal constitution, directors or board, it is now producing another gathering of the same calibre as the inaugural National Orchard Gathering simply by passing the baton to the most willing and able orchard activists. It's a simple but radically organisation-lite approach that might horrify the traditionalists but is a modus operandi that is on the increase as we collectively explore the possibilities of connectivity.

On 3rd October 2015 Dundee Urban Orchard will welcome Orchard
Collective Scotland to Dundee. The Orchard Gathering will focus on the
theme of Orchard Cities and the role that the creative arts can play
in generating and sustaining energy for a growing orchard movement.
Examples of creative orchard projects from across the UK will be
highlighted. The day will include lively presentations, creative
workshops and plenty of time to discuss next steps for the Orchard
Collective Scotland.

The first National Orchard Gathering was co-hosted by Fife Diet, Forth Environment Link and Orchard Research and Enterprise on the 7th November 2014 in Dunblane. It attracted 100 people from across Scotland, who, using collaborative democracy techniques, envisioned a fruitful future for orchards in Scotland. One of the aims of the event was to bring together a vibrant but disconnected orchard community and see whether there was energy to create a network.

Let's hope the energy continues. As Margaret Wheatley said:

"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has."

Perhaps we are seeing another sign of those small groups connecting together to become a large group - book your ticket to find out!

Orchard Gathering 2015
3rd October 2015
Daytime Gathering: 10.00 - 17.00
Evening meal and entertainment: 18.00 – 21.30
Dundee West Church, Lower Hall, 132 Perth Rd., DD1 4JW - enter via
Roseangle Arts Cafe.


10.00 – 10.45: registration and breadmaking (in preparation for lunch)
10.45 – 11.00: welcome
11.00 – 11.20: introduction to Dundee Urban Orchard
11.20 – 11.30: comfort break
11.30 – 12.30: talk by Anne Marie Culhane followed by Q&A
12.30 – 14.00: lunch and chat
14.00 – 14.50: project progress reports from previous Orchard Gatherings
14.50 – 15.00: comfort break
15.00 – 16.00: creative workshop options + project development
16.00 – 16.30: feedback from workshops and next steps
16.30 – 17.00: tea/coffee and chat

18.00 – 19.30: orchard themed meal and collective juicing
20.00 – 21.30: live music from Emil Thompson’s Dundee Back Stories
Songbook and others.

The Gathering includes tea/coffee and lunch. For those able to stay
on, there will be an orchard themed evening meal and live
entertainment from 18.00 – 21.30.
Dates for the Orchard Gathering have been chosen to complement Tay
Landscape Partnership's Fruit Festival events and encourage synergy
across urban and rural environments. TLP events include an apple
harvest at Elcho Castle Orchard on the 4th October, a picking and
juicing skills sharing workshop in Errol on the 7th October, and a
Fruit Festival in Bell Wood Park, Perth on the 10th October.

To find out more information about Anne-Marie Culhane's work see:
For more information about Dundee Urban Orchard see:
For more information about Tay Landscape Partnerships see: