Helping Britain Blossom orchards are community orchards run by groups of committed local people who want to plant, look after and enjoy the fruit trees. It’s as much about community engagement as it is about tree planting.
Orchard Leaders are local people who want to take an active part planting or restoring an orchard near to where they live or work. They take the lead in recruiting a small group of other interested people from their local community (usually part of an existing community group) and take responsibility for ensuring their orchard is well looked after and the wider community are involved and consulted.
Being an Orchard Leader is a great way to learn new practical skills, whether planting, pruning or grafting, with the added opportunity of passing your knowledge on to other people. As part of the Helping Britain Blossom network, you’ll develop your own fruit tree expertise and become the local expert that others can come to for advice – for example in the area of pest control or harvesting.
Orchard Leaders are the vital link between the community group and Helping Britain Blossom. They relay information, updates and new learning to the group and are the ���go to” people for group members. Orchard Leaders are also able to initiate any maintenance work needed and ensure that the orchard thrives in the future.
Being an Orchard Leader is also a great social activity. You’ll have the chance to participate in Orchard Leader get-togethers, where you’ll meet other Orchard Leaders to share knowledge, make contacts for the future and even share resources like mulch and tools.
To get the ball rolling, your community group should contact Helping Britain Blossom and suggest a site that might be suitable for a community orchard. A Project Manager from Helping Britain Blossom will visit you and find out more about your group and the potential for your site to be a community orchard. We expect that each group will identify four or five people to attend our formal training and become official Orchard Leaders. We’ll discuss with you:
Once we’ve gathered the above information, we’ll write you an orchard proposal acknowledging our agreement to work together and outlining what is expected of the Orchard Leaders and the support you’ll get.
Together we can help Britain blossom!