Traditional orchards have been disappearing from our landscapes for decades: around 60% of England’s traditional orchards have disappeared since the 1950s as a result of development pressures, conversion of land to other uses and small-scale producers suffering at the hands of the economics of fruit growing.
We want to halt this decline and preserve mature orchards for their biodiversity value, history, heritage, beauty, and fruit.
In 2010 we went into partnership with the custodians of several mature orchards in London to help them extend the life of their fruit trees so local communities can enjoy their majestic presence and fruit for longer.
In 2016 we started A Celebration of Orchard’s, working with 30 orchards in London over 3 years.
Check out some photos on Flickr of one of our orchard restortation days here and two short films about orchard restoration at Bethlem Royal Hospital below:
Julia Coulson, Nature Conservation Ranger, Vision Redbridge
“The Orchard Project did a fantastic job in helping us to restore a neglected old orchard in Claybury Park, and whilst doing so trained our staff and volunteers to ensure the orchard’s sensitive management continues. The staff were friendly and professional. Without their help, the trees would have been left to die out; now they have been given a new lease of life and we can look forward to harvesting the benefits!”
“A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who helped yesterday – I was amazed and delighted by how much had been achieved by the end of the day. It’s great to be working with The Orchard Project to create a resource that should be enjoyed by our staff, students and local community groups (which include the local Forest School) for years to come and which will also increase campus biodiversity. Many thanks to Kath, Russell, and Lewis for making this possible.”
Lynsey, Dorich House, Kingston
“I just thought I’d drop a quick email to say how delighted we are at the change in our old orchard since you helped us to prune it in January. After not flowering for the last 3 years, it’s now in full blossom. It really has been given a whole new lease of life! Please do pass on our thanks to everyone. They were all a brilliant source of knowledge on the day.”
Peter, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Bromley
“We could not have tackled our orchard restoration project without the support and guidance of The Orchard Project, Their involvement made it all happen and their vision and technical expertise turned a difficult challenge into a resounding success. We now have a wonderful rejuvenated old orchard which can serve our community for many years to come”