The Growing Orchard Communities project

Community orchards are an important asset to any parish or village. They are a place to meet people, get involved in practical tasks or community events and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

The Growing Orchard Communities project linked community orchard groups to a wider support network - Orchard Link. Orchard Link was established in 1998 by a group of orchard campaigners and enthusiasts in response to the declining condition and number of traditional orchards, the loss of apple varieties, the wastage of apple crops from small traditional orchards and the needs of orchard owners for help and support. It was delivered by the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team, in partnership with Orchard Link. In total £86,800 of funding was secured, including a grant of £40,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Other funding was secured through the Langage Landscape Fund, South Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund, Orchard Link funds, Devon County Council locality grants and private sector funding. You can find out more about the project  here

If you help manage a community orchard and would like to add your details to our map, please get in touch via our contact page

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Latest photos from Flickr

Latest pictures from our project workshops.

Getting Involved

If you are a member of a community orchard or help to look after an orchard site in your parish, and would like to find out more about how you could get involved, please contact us community@orchardlink.org.uk

You can also keep up to date with us by following our activities on YouTube and Flickr. You can also see back copies of the Apple Press - our GOC newsletter here

The Project

This project will run from the launch in November 2015 to the final celebration event in June 2017.

The main period of engagement for community orchard groups will be Jan 2016 – March 2017. This is when the workshop programmes will take place.

During this project we will be :-

  • Engaging local communities and equipping them with the skills and expertise to manage their orchard sites as thriving community resources. This will be through a programme of workshops, training and skills sharing sessions about managing orchard sites.
  • Working with the groups to help them become robust and sustainable community groups, helping them to run events, recruit and work with volunteers, manage themselves and search for extra funding when needed. This will also be carried out through workshops, training and skill share sessions.
  • Creating a community orchard network, which will be a forum for sharing skills, experience and expertise. This will provide support for the groups and a chance to meet others working in the same way.
    Produce a community orchards website as a resource hub for community orchard groups

These elements will be funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund grant

There will also be a programme of site works delivered on the ground

  • Site appraisals with an expert
  • Production of site action plans
  • Small grants for site works – planting, tree protection, site signage and facilities – this will be informed by the site action plan and carried out by volunteers in the community groups.

These elements will be funded in part by the private sector funding. Some of this is tied to specific project areas as it is through Devon County Council Locality grants and the Langage Landscape Fund.

The Activity

There will be programmes of workshops, skills share events, activities and networking days through the project for community orchard groups to attend. The workshops are broken up into three programmes:

  • Site Development Programme Training and skillshare programme relating to the physical management of orchards
  • Group Development Programme Training and skillshare relating to managing and developing community orchard groups:
  • Digital Workshops Series of half-day workshops using digital media to share and create digital archives:

There will also be practical support and expert advice check and improve the health of the community orchards as well as seasonal celebration network events.

Latest News and Events

Download all case studies

Dartmouth community orchard case study - one of five case studies completed as part of Growing Orchard Communities project

Download PDF

Huxhams Cross community orchard case study - one of five case studies completed as part of the Growing Orchard Communities project

Download PDF

Newton and Noss community orchard group case study - one of five completed as part of the Growing Orchard Communities project

Download PDF

Stokenham parish community orchard cluster group case study - one of five completed as part of the Growing Orchard Communities project

Download PDF

Totnes Incredible Edibles case study

Download PDF

Online toolkit and resources

We have produced a community orchard toolkit full of help, advice, tools and ideas to use in your community orchards. There are over 40 downlaodable pdfs  to help you look after your community orchard as well as run events to get more people involved. Keep scrolling down this page to see the full range - everything from running a Wassail to how to do bench grafting!

The sheets are free for anyone to use. You are welcome to download and print them out for your own use, but they are copyright so please don’t alter or extract bits in any way – thank you!

Latest photos from Flickr

Latest pictures from our project workshops.

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The GOC project newsletter

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