The Celebration of Orchards project is an ambitious London-wide initiative to protect the capital’s rich orchard heritage for future generations. This is the largest project ever launched in London to recognise what special places our older orchards are. We are involving different generations in caring for, harvesting and celebrating their local orchard, passing on skills and knowledge that will help to sustain these special habitats. The Celebration of Orchards Project aims to:
- Rediscover and rejuvenate London’s forgotten orchards
- Bring people together to maintain, harvest, and celebrate their local orchard
- Train adults and school children in orchard skills
- Create a London-wide community apple juice and craft cider enterprise
We searched London to uncover 30 of its hidden orchards. We are now working with local people to uncover the history of these orchards, identify and propagate varieties, rejuvenate and preserve the trees, and manage habitat for wildlife. We also help local communities celebrate their orchards through events such as Wassails and Apple Days.
Maintaining an Orchard Legacy & Building Orchard Skills
The Orchard Project is training the future guardians of London’s orchards. We run workshops covering skills such as veteran tree pruning, apple identification, and grafting, and we are developing an accredited community orchard skills certificate. We also work with school children and are creating curriculum resources to help schools make use of nearby orchards as outdoor classrooms.
Juice and Cider
A new community-powered juice and craft cider enterprise will see fruit from across London pressed using traditional methods to create a unique blend of apple juice and craft cider. People across the city will be encouraged to harvest their community orchards (many planted with The Orchard Project) and press fruit together in our Cider House. Half of this juice will be given back to them, and half will be sold by The Orchard Project to help us continue our work. This means that uniquely, all money earned from the enterprise will go straight back into supporting community orchards. Find out more here.
Neil Kingsnorth, CEO at The Orchard Project said:
“Community Orchards are a source of healthy food, a community space for people to enjoy, and a space for wildlife to thrive. They inject health, community and happiness in to a space. But London has lost more than 98% of its orchards since the last century and many of our existing orchards will disappear unless we invest in their restoration now. Our bold new programme will allow us to save some of our great, lost orchards and build the skills to make sure our community orchards are cared for long term. And we’ll be capturing London’s orchard diversity in a bottle too.”
The Orchard Project are the UK’s sole charity focused on creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards. The Celebration of Orchards Project is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Postcode Lottery Trust, Heineken, Mercers Foundation and the GLA.
If you would like to be involved in what we are doing or find out more, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Lizzie email@example.com