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Saving Traditional Orchards since 1998

Orchard Link - Saving Traditional Orchards

Orchard Link was established in 1998 by a group of Orchard campaigners and advisors from Devon's local authorities, cidermakers and orchard owners, in response to the wastage of apple crops from small traditional orchards and the needs of orchard owners for help and support. Whilst local and national orchard campaigns have encouraged people to plant and restore orchards, there is still little support for those doing the work, in terms of advise and training.
Until now there was no provision for collecting and using the fruit which small traditional orchards produce. Orchard Link aims to support orchard owners and enthusiasts, to ensure that orchards are a sustainable element of our landscape.

Community Orchards

Orchardlink recognises the growing interest in Community orchards and is keen to provide support for anyone or group who wishes to develop or run a community orchard. We are very pleased to be working with South Devon AONB on a new community orchards project which has been successful in securing Heritage Lottery, public and private sector funding.The project will run from November 2015 until June 2017 and there are many exciting activities, training, networking and skill sharing opportunities planned.For more information, see the South Devon AONB website

Keep up to date with our Community Orchards Project

View previous campaigns.


Membership

Join Orchard Link and make the most of your orchard and share the benefits. Membership now costs just £12 per year and offers you:-

  1. Three news letters per year - Orchard Link News - packed full of seasonal advice, orcharding news and a diary of training and orchard events
  2. An invitation to our annual gathering - held at an orchard or cidermakers - an information day and a chance to meet other members over cider and pasties
  3. Hire of pressing and milling equipment
  4. Access to Harvestline with contacts for selling your apples. If you have larger quantities of cider apples we can put you in touch with local cidermakers who require your fruit - and also help you sell it for a competitive price.
  5. Courses on pruning, management and wildlife, plus cidermaking workshops, all at special rates for our members
  6. A link to other experts and enthusiasts enabling you to exchange ideas and increase your knowledge

To make a membership enquiry, please contact us at membership@orchardlink.org.uk

If you are unable or do not wish to apply online, then the alternative is to click here for a printable application form. When completed post it to the address at the top of the form.

We offer our members:

  • The skills and know-how to manage traditional orchards to produce a useable and more viable crop
  • Advice on restoring old orchards - or planting new ones - with an emphasis on the use of local apple varieties
  • Access to a network of experts - including horticulturalists, cider makers, nurseries and conservationists
  • Opportunities to visit other members' orchards, exchange knowledge and ideas, to use and enjoy their orchards and apples
  • The chance to buy or sell surplus apples

Equipment hire

Orchard Link has equipment that members can hire for apple pressing and pasteurising.

If you are hiring for a school or similar then there is a risk assessment that you might find useful. Click here

To book the equipment please contact - presshire@orchardlink.org.uk

We are pleased to say we can keep the costs the same as last year. Due to the logistics involved we are only able to hire equipment out to local OrchardLink members in South Devon.

Pressing Equipment

All pressing equipment comes with the press, an electric mill to pulp the apples, various buckets and bits and pieces - in fact all the bits you need to make apple juice. A full list of equipment can be found on the links below, plus instructions for use. Please note that for insurance purposes we can only hire equipment out to paid up members of Orchard Link.

The protocol is that each hirer will collect the equipment either from the previous hirer, or from us (Ugborough, near Ivybridge), depending on where it is. Because not all press hirers want to hire a pasteuriser, these need to be collected from and returned to us separately.


Metal Press Hire
Metal Press
This metal press consists of a heavy steel frame on which five 'cheeses' of apple pomace wrapped in clothes are sandwiched between slatted boards. It will typically press 30-40kg of fruit (resulting in 20-25 litres of juice) per pressing, and you might expect to do around 3 pressings per hour. The Press's dimensions are approx 113cm x 54cm x71cm (weight 63kg) and together with the mill and buckets you can just squeeze it into the back of a large estate car. Orchard Link uses this press for its Pressing Days and Farmers Market events, and it is the popular with members.
Metal Press - Downloads
Equipment list
Instructions
Hire Charges
£35/day or £60 for two days (midweek); £45/day or £80 for two days (weekend)
Oak Press Hire
Oak Press
This is a large and very heavy press, which comes on its own trailer and needs several people to unload. It is mainly suitable for community events where there are enough people to unload and set it up. Production is around 2-3 times that of the metal press.
Oak Press - Downloads
Equipment list
Instructions
Hire Charges
£35/day or £60 for two days (midweek); £45/day or £80 for two days (weekend)
Basket Press Hire
Basket Press
We have also a 20 L basket press to go with the small electric mill that we have. This consists of a circular cage of oak slats which holds the apple pomace, sat on a steel frame. We estimate it will press around 8-10kg of fruit producing say 4-5 litres of juice per pressing. The press's dimensions are 89cm x 61cm x 61cm (weight 38kg), and with the small mill and buckets should fit on the back seat of a family car. It is really aimed at those who want to try out making juice for the first time or don't have a huge amount of fruit to press.
Basket Press - Downloads
Equipment list
Instructions
Hire Charges
£15/day (mid week); £20/day (weekend)

Pasteuriser
We also have a couple of stainless steel pasteurisers - which hold 13 wine bottles at a time.
Hire Charges
£10 per day
Pasteuriser Hire
Pasteuriser Hire

Contact Orchard Link

Please give your name, address and telephone number with details of your enquiry.

Emails.

  1. For general enquires - info@orchardlink.org.uk
  2. For membership enquiries - membership@orchardlink.org.uk

Emails.

  1. For Hiring equipment please contact Presshire@orchardlink.org.uk
  2. For membership fees and payments please contact the treasurer, Robin Toogood treasurer@orchardlink.org.uk