Storm damage and climate change concerns prompt closure of PYO strawberry business

Strawberry picking season has arrived but a popular fruit farm has been forced to close its Pick Your Own (PYO) operation.

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 1:55 pm

Polytunnels at The Strawberry Barn, near Dunbar, were badly damaged during Storm Arwen and subsequent gales last winter.

The owners have now concluded – with concerns about climate change - that they are no longer viable.

In a blog statement, they explain: “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we have to announce the end of Strawberry farming and Pick Your Own at The Strawberry Barn.

Strawberry picking.

“Last year was our last year of offering PYO Strawberries but we didn't know it at the time.

“Storm Arwen in December last year caused major damage to our PYO Tunnel structures.

"With another four high wind storms since Arwen we asked a specialist fruit growing consultant to advise us. The conclusion was that with ever increasing wind speeds on site, the tunnels are no longer viable at this location. With the A1 on one side and the East Coast Line on the other we don't really have a choice.

“We are genuinely sorry, and very sad, to make this decision as we know how popular our PYO offering has been over the last two years and we were the last fruit farm in East Lothian to offer PYO.

“Could this be global warming having a real effect locally? We think so.”

In Northumberland, strawberry picking is now available at Oxford Farm, near Berwick, Felton Fruit Farm and Brocksbushes Farm, near Corbridge.