Environment grant 1/3
The Orchard Project

The Orchard Project

The Orchard Project is the UK’s only charity dedicated to creating and maintaining community orchards. The charity works with local community groups, helping them design, plant and care for trees and to harvest their own fruit. Since the charity was established in 2009, they have helped local groups create and maintain over 540 community orchards.

The charity focuses on supporting local groups based in disadvantaged urban areas. The orchards offer an inspiring glimpse of a more sustainable way of life with easy access to free, locally produced food, contributing to food security. They provide a healthy outdoor space for community activities, create safe habitats for wildlife and capturing carbon from the atmosphere. With each new orchard, the group looking after it receives orchard maintenance training and ongoing support; this helps ensure that each new orchard becomes fully established with healthy and fruitful trees. The community group also receives training in orchard maintenance and group communication skills. The charity also gathers surplus fruit from orchards and turns it into delicious cider and juice, helping to reduce food waste.

The Orchard Project also helps groups to look after and preserve veteran orchards, researching local heritage varieties of fruit and identifying rare species of wildlife that only inhabit orchards. The charity’s ultimate aim is to create a network of community orchards that are accessible from every city, town and village in the country.

In October 2020, the Swire Charitable Trust awarded The Orchard Project an unrestricted grant of £60,000 across three years to support the charity’s vision to create community orchards across the UK.

Amount awarded:£60,000
Date awarded:October 2020
Length of Award:36 Months