The group Friends of Kinneil have been left horrified by a pointless act of vandalism which has destroyed “nearly half” the young trees in the estate’s community orchard.
The damage follows the defacement earlier this month of story boards explaining the area’s links to the Antonine Wall, and involves nine trees in the orchard that have been “snapped off just as they were beginning to mature”.
A spokesperson for Friends of Kinneil said on social media: “This kind of vandalism cannot succeed.
“The damage will now have to be assessed further to decide whether or not these young trees will have to be completely replaced all over again”.
The planting of the orchard in 2016 involved children from both Deanburn and Kinneil Primary Schools, other local volunteers including the Friends, and dedicated people within partner organisations including Falkirk Parks, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Forth Valley Orchards, Inner Forth Landscape, Historic Environment Scotland and others.
The trees were specially selected from historic fruit varieties to reflect the great orchards which existed at Kinneil around the 17th Century, when the estate was famed for its magnificent gardens and parkland.
They produces vegetables and fruit including apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and even melons.