It truly has been a fruitful year for the 22 community orchards signed up to our project with lots of workdays, training workshops and network events going over the last 12 months.
It has run its target number of 10 site development workshops and these have been very popular with volunteers from the member groups. There have been three successful, fun and busy network days on themes of biodiversity, produce and involving communities. These have been a great way for members to meet up and chat over ideas and development in their orchards as well as learn a few things along the way! For the Autumn event the Holbeton community orchard played host and there was a great day cooking, tasting and chatting about all things harvest, produce and preserving.
A this time of year it has all been about the apples – and many of the community orchards have been organising and running Apple Days. 10 took place across the project area and many apples were peeled, bobbed, pressed, scrutinized and juiced! Members enjoyed a twilight workshop all about running an apple day which gave everyone loads of fantastic ideas for activities to do.
Another part of the project has been about the new Orchard Link website – which has got a new shiny look - andthe webmasters have been busy uploading lots of great information sheets onto the digital toolkit page. There is a lot of useful information on there – from apple day activities to tips for bench grafting.
Looking ahead there will be a programme of group development workshops to run over winter and spring as well as the next network event on 4th February all about Celebrating Heritage.
For further information about the project and events please contact Nicky Bailey [email protected]
The Growing Orchard Communities project aims to support local people to manage healthy orchards for the whole community to enjoy. It is run by Orchard Link, supported by the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.