Come on our exciting new course and learn everything you need to know about managing community orchards from our team of experienced orchardists. We will teach on 12 weekend days over a year, giving you the best opportunity to learn a wide range of seasonally appropriate skills to help you create incredible, thriving community orchards. The course is very reasonably priced and you can even pay by volunteering – please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
12 days over a year starting in May 2017 and ending in March 2018, 9am-4pm each day. More details below.
A range of community managed orchards, from young to veterans, community food projects.
Compulsory and Optional Units
- Units 1 and 2 (compulsory) Everyone does these. You’ll learn about orchard history, tree lifecycles, tree physiology, tree identification, tree planting, tree care programmes, biodiversity (above and below ground level), soil science, pests and diseases, formative pruning, maintenance pruning, grafting and effective group work. Units 1 and 2 are covered on days 1, 2, 5, 9, 10 & 12.
- Unit 3 (optional) If you want to maintain an established orchard, possibly containing some veteran trees, you should choose this unit. If you aren’t yet connected with an existing orchard, we may be able to suggest one near you. This unit covers veteran tree features, biodiversity surveys, veteran tree management, apple identification, apple varieties, taxonomy and restorative pruning. Unit 3 is covered on days 3, 7 & 11.
- Unit 4 (optional) If you want to design a new orchard this is the unit for you. We cover summer pruning, extra grafting techniques, forest garden plants, surveying land and designing a new orchard. Unit 4 is covered on days 4, 6 & 8.
Learning will be assessed and you will need to pass three out of four units to gain the certification – regulated by the Crossfields Institute. Each unit is taught over three days, so this equates to attending nine out of the 12 available sessions and passing the assessments. You may attend all sessions and gain all four units, if you wish. If you don’t want to be assessed, you can still attend and enjoy the course.
Each day goes from 9am to 4pm. In addition there’s 6-10 hours homework each month and an 800 word pre-course report.
- The training will mostly be outdoors, bring appropriate clothing and a packed lunch. You should assume all days are going ahead as planned but if unusually inclement weather is forecast we will make a decision the day before whether or not to go ahead. If we need to cancel you will be contacted via text, by 8pm the day before (at the latest).
- There’s a maximum of 16 people on the course so you’ll have excellent opportunities to network with other community orchard managers.
Certified £400 (full); £260 (concessionary); paying by volunteering
Non-certified £300 (full); £180 (concessionary); paying by volunteering
If you wish to pay by volunteering you will need to volunteer for every day of the course you attend, in advance of each day. This will need to be at a project run by The Orchard Project or at The Orchard Project offices. Please contact us to discuss this.
Concessionary places are at the discretion of The Orchard Project and would include those who are retired, not in full time employment or otherwise low income. Please contact us to discuss this.
Please contact the Education, Skills and Training Manager, Jo Homan:
- 07714 745 408
From The Orchard Project – Ella Hashemi, Jo Homan, Stephanie Irvine, Ryan O’Kane and Lewis McNeill
We’ve also recruited the most highly respected orcharding tutors with specialist knowledge in their fields:
Tom Adams has worked as an orchardist since 2001. His work includes designing and planting new orchard sites, carrying out orchard surveys, restoration/restocking of orchards, rescue work (i.e. propagating from trees whose variety can’t be immediately identified or that are known to be rare), running a fruit tree nursery selling old and local varieties, pruning for private customers and running pruning and grafting courses for organisations such as The National Trust, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), and local community orchards. His customer base includes private landowners, commercial orchards, schools and community orchard/garden projects. He also works as a green woodworker. Here he is being interviewed by the Telegraph.
Bob began working in commercial and heritage orchards over 30 years ago, and has been teaching orchard skills for over 20 years. His clients have included the Orchard Project, the East of England Apples and Orchards Project, the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, Aspall Cider, several local authorities and numerous community groups. His West Norfolk orchard, where he maintains a number of veteran trees and an extensive collection of heritage varieties, is a county wildlife site and has won a CPRE award for its contribution to the local landscape.
Bob is the moderator for Malus cultivars for FruitID.com.
Russell Miller’s main interests are: trees, beetles, bees, fungi, social justice and problem solving. Following a 14 year career as a litigation solicitor, he left the legal profession to be closer to nature. A significant part of his arboricultural career has been to develop organisations that connect people with trees. He has helped set up The Orchard Project and is also involved in Trees for Life in Scotland.
The Tree Musketeers is a Hackney-based volunteer group uniquely combining the public openness of Tree Wardens with professional arboricultural expertise. The group plants and maintains trees in Hackney’s parks. Read an interview about The Tree Musketeers here.
His other primary focus for the last 10 years has been studying, protecting and enhancing Abney Park Cemetery Nature Reserve in North London. Planted as a world class arboretum in 1840, this urban woodland site has an important collection of veteran poplars and ash, as well as some rare remnant arboretum specimens. He has chaired this group since establishing it in 2010. He also chairs the Ancient Tree Forum.
Steve Oram has ten years work experience with traditional orchards and has a life-long interest in the natural environment and horticulture. After graduating from an Environmental Science degree at Greenwich University, a stint at the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale further encouraged a fascination with orchards and he came to People’s Trust for Endangered Species, PTES, to work on the orchards mapping project thereafter.
His work involves managing and curating the traditional orchard, priority habitat national inventory and taking actions to protect and enhance the condition of traditional orchards across the UK. He also helps communities and organisations set up new orchards and advises on management practices that will help both people and wildlife reap the rewards of a healthy active heritage orchard. Through this work, PTES have continued to support orchard owners and the heritage fruit community with website features such as a community orchard list, events calendar and the FruitFinder app. He has specialist knowledge in the kinds of invertebrates that are found in veteran orchards. He currently has 60 top-fruit and 40 soft-fruit varieties growing on his allotment.
Bryn has been teaching permaculture since 1994. He is one of the founders of Brighton Permaculture Trust and is now the acting CEO as well as managing Brighton Permaculture Trust’s fruit projects. Particular areas of interest include fruit growing, pruning, forest gardening and green architecture. Bryn teaches forest gardening, permaculture design, pruning old fruit trees, fruit tree planting, caring for fruit trees and planning and planting a small orchard in Brighton. Here’s Bryn teaching tree pruning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMBNw-mBUL8
The Celebration of Orchards Project is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Postcode Lottery Trust, Heineken, Mercers Foundation and the GLA.