Volunteer Journey: Duncan Arthur

Volunteering to grow the Clyde Valley fruit growing heritage

Filed under News
Date posted: Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Last week we posted a volunteer focus blog on Ruth Thomas, who, along with Duncan Arthur, we nominated for ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in the Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire (VASLAN) Awards 2017.

Over the last year, Ruth and Duncan are just two of the CAVLP volunteers who contributed towards 4000 hours of volunteer time maintaining ancient woodland in the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR), surveying and submitting reports on 10 designed landscapes, planting trees, researching Local Landscape Heroes, unearthing artworks associated with the Clyde and Avon Valley and guiding families in summer natural play activities, connecting them to the beautiful green spaces on their doorsteps. And that’s a small snapshot of the volunteering which has taken place. View the full list of current opportunities available here.

Duncan demonstrates the new apple pressing equipment
Duncan demonstrates the new apple pressing equipment

Duncan is one of the leading voluntary members of the Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative (CVOC), and has been involved in volunteering with CAVLP since 2011. He is an invaluable asset to both CVOC and CAVLP, and has had a profoundly positive effect on the area.

He takes an extremely proactive approach through a personal passion in orchards and fruit production, and helped establish CVOC as a social co-operative in 2016 through the selling of their own fruit products – pick up some Clyde Valley apple juice from local outlets around Lanark!

Duncan Arthur with Donna Marshal CAVLP Manager, Cheryl Scott Clyde Valley Orchards Chairwoman, Alison Cutforth HLF Senior Grants Officer, at Blossom Day 2015
Duncan Arthur with Donna Marshal CAVLP Manager, Cheryl Scott Clyde Valley Orchards Chairwoman, Alison Cutforth HLF Senior Grants Officer, at Blossom Day 2015

Duncan has greatly helped to ensure the fruit growing heritage of the Clyde Valley is recognised, valued and continued, and without his involvement we certainly would not have seen the success we have with regards to the rejuvenation of the orchards. From planting trees and establishing new orchards, to visiting schools and teaching communities, Duncan has done it all. He has helped local residents of the area engage with orchards, and undertaken school visits to help plant school orchards and teach children about the fruit juicing process.

In his other role as a contractor, Duncan also co-ordinated CVOC volunteers to survey over 200 orchards in the Clyde Valley area, adding crucial data to the National Orchard Inventory Scotland.

As well as working with the orchards, as a volunteer with CCI he has helped to both co-ordinate and undertake clearance work at a historic graveyard, making the site accessible once again and ensuring its conservation.

And let's not forget the time that Duncan represented the Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative on BBC Countryfile, filling Matt Baker in on all of the great work that the Cooperative does. Watch the feature below.

Duncan and Matt Baker, filming a feature on the Clyde Valley Orchards for BBC Countryfile, 2017
Duncan and Matt Baker, filming a feature on the Clyde Valley Orchards for BBC Countryfile, 2017

Without the enthusiasm and hard work demonstrated not just by Ruth and Duncan, but all volunteers who dedicate their time, the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership projects, would be incomplete, and for that we are extremely grateful.

If you are inspired by Ruth and / or Duncan’s story, take a look at what CAVLP volunteering opportunities are available here.

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