Autumn news from the Arran Pioneer Project

Here is some recent news from the Arran Pioneer Project:

The nights are fair drawing in, as the old saying goes, as the autumn oranges, yellows, reds and browns start to shimmer all around the island. It has been another productive year as volunteers at the community gardens that we have helped to establish continue to progress and grow food for their communities, while learning new skills and meeting new people.

As the seasons transform, so too does our organisation. Up until now The Arran Pioneer Project CIC has been a voluntary organisation, and we’re delighted to announce that we now have two part time staff to continue our work on a 3 year contract. Everything that has happened since March 2020 has been a tremendous effort from all volunteers involved, but there is still a long way to go before Arran’s communities are self sufficient in food production, and creating long term employment for people on the island is a central part of our strategy towards achieving this.

With the extra support of staff members, we will continue to tackle the bigger issues of how to transform even more unused land around the island, not just by establishing and maintaining community gardens (still lots of work to do there), but regenerating nature and biodiversity on larger areas of land, and reconnecting more people with the wider landscape. To that end, we are working alongside and helping to facilitate, three potential larger scale projects, that we hope to reveal the details of soon .. …

Happy Autumn Equinox and ….. Arainn gu brath x The Directors

Autumn Harvest
It is the time of year for abundant harvest on Arran, and all of the gardens have had some successes as we have been learning what works and doesn’t work. There were large tattie and onion hauls at both Cladach and Cordon, while The Lochranza Community farm held an event with the French Fox earlier in September to process the fresh produce grown on site. Both Corrie and Pirnmill have also started to grow this season, while Kilpatrick had it’s harvest of tatties for the second year in a row. The garden at Glen Estate has been transformed and has had a productive season.

The potato harvest at Cladach community garden

Apple Days
We assisted Arran Eco Savvy with their Hub Harvest Day on Tuesday September 20th, which was a part of the first Arran Festival of Food and Drink. We inaugurated our new Apple Press and crusher from Vigo Presses and pressed around 14 litres of cider. We are planning another Apple Day in Cordon in October to press any late ripening apples- please keep an eye out on social media for further details.

New Staff Members
We are excited to announce that the Pioneer Project has been awarded funding from the The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, to fund two positions for the next three years: APP Island Ranger and APP Project Coordinator. Both of these roles have now been filled, and we are happy to welcome Nicola to our team as Island Ranger. In addition, Simon will take on the Project Coordinator role in addition to his responsibilities as a Director.

We have created these two roles to support the work that volunteers are doing to grow food around the island over the next few years (and beyond), and to continue to transform unused land around the island. You can contact us on or by telephone (or Whatsapp) on 07927 515785.

The new staff members Simon and Nicola, and not to forget wee Hen Solo too!