The Growing Orchard Communities project

Over 20 community orchard groups are taking part in the project. They are spread from the edge of Plymouth right over through Torbay and from the coast up to the edge of Dartmoor.

We are very pleased to be working on a new community orchards project and have 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.

Over 20 community orchard groups are taking part in the project. They are spread from the edge of Plymouth right over through Torbay and from the coast up to the edge of Dartmoor. There is a great range of sites and groups, which means that there will be plenty of expertise and shared experience to draw upon and learn from.

The project will be managed by a steering group made up of members of the Orchard Link committee, supported by the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team

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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 liking the project facebook page, 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

Harvest time for Growing Orchard Communities

A news update on the fruitful first year of our "Growing Orchard Communities" project! More info

  • Community Orchard News
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Latest "Apple Press" newsletter out now

Juicy news from our Growing Orchard Communities project! More info

  • Community Orchard News
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Online toolkit and resources

We will be producing a community orchard toolkit full of help, advice, tools and ideas to use in your community orchards. This will be added to throughout the project, so come back and check what has been added regularly!

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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