Campbeltown Community Orchard & Garden (CCOG) is the only remaining project of the Kintyre Environmental Group (KEG). KEG originated in 2000 to increase awareness of Kintyre’s environment and highlight improvements that could be made. At CCOG, we aim to do this using the principles of permaculture, biodiversity and natural gardening.
KEG became a registered Scottish charity in 2013 - KEG(SCIO): no. SC041295; a not-for-profit group, responsible for the oversight and management of CCOG which relies on volunteers, funders, donations and sales of our fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs.
The Community Garden is located at Auchinlee Eventide Home, High Askomil, Carradale Road, Campbeltown. The wildlife seating areas and picnic benches, offer spectacular views over the Campbeltown loch.
CCOG welcomes all age groups and abilities. Come and enjoy the views, peace and quiet or turn your hand to some gardening if you fancy!
In 2011 CCOG was awarded the Volunteer Organisation of the year award. In 2012 CCOG created a new market garden, with several large polytunnels. They allow us to grow a greater variety of fruit and vegetables and to extend the growing season considerably. CCOG also have a newly planted orchard with apple, plum, pear and cherry trees, a new soft fruit garden with strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and black and red currants, plus a large family picnic area and sales office.
Towards the end of 2012, CCOG expanded its outreach work to engage with disadvantaged groups. The therapeutic nature of working in the garden assists us to provide a supportive environment for groups and individuals dealing with disadvantages. These include:
- Therapeutic activities for people with mental health issues through partnership with The Kintyre Link Club, a mental health club run by members for members,
- Provision of a supportive environment for recovering addicts, helping them to build their selfesteem and confidence.
- The garden has proven to be an effective placement for Community Payback, which gives local communities the opportunity to suggest suitable areas for offenders to rejuvenate as part of their Community Order, enabling them to make a positive contribution to the local community.
- CCOG provides placements for young people facing challenges in the school environment to help gain skills and confidence.
- There is also an employment training programme to support young unemployed people to gain experience with 2 to 3 young people working as part of the team at any one time.
Phase one (2008 – 09) saw the creation of the following:
- The Resource Centre with kitchen facilities
- Tool shed with workbench and appropriate tools
- Toilet for disabled
- Shed to change/store work clothes
- Re-sited and re-covered polytunnel with potting bench, automatic watering system to beds and benches
- Children’s play area
- Metered water laid into all areas of the garden (approved by Auchinlee House)
- Wildlife garden including pond
- ‘Raised’ vegetable beds
- Wildlife walk.
Phase two (2011 – 2013). The work continued:
- Drainage to eliminate water ‘scouring’ path surfaces
- Resurfaced path with handrail enabling less mobile visitors access to the toilet
- Culinary herb bed
- Sensory bed polytunnel, accessible raised beds and resource center area.
- Resurfaced path enabling wheelchair users similar access via different route
- Dalintober P7’s experimental garden
- Soft fruit cage
- Wildlife walk with paths, steps and observation decks with seating for less mobile
- Raised vegetable beds
- Practical composting/recycling demonstration area.
During 2014 we saw the introduction of:
- A children’s holiday club
- After school club
- A new play house and some play equipment making the garden an even more child friendly place to come and visit.
- A cairn with a lovely sundial was built to remember Dave Pearson
Activities enjoyed by the children included den building with bamboo and pallets, stone painting, bug hunts, tiedying using natural dyes found in the garden and making mini landscapes with materials also found around the garden.
We introduced pick your own strawberries and raspberries and had great success at the Kintyre Agricultural show and the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival, Doon the Green afternoon where people were treated to some very tasty local produce dishes cooked on site with freshly pressed apple juice.
A cairn with a lovely sundial was built to remember Dave Pearson and an unveiling took place where people were invited to bring a stone as part of the memorial for round the bottom of the cairn with a personal message on it.