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Volunteers needed to protect Herts orchard heritage

The region’s orchards are an integral part of the landscape and an important source of biodiversity. They are also a rich, but under-researched, historical record.

Now the Landscape Group, part of the University of East Anglia’s (UEA’s) School of History, has been awarded £477,700 of National Lottery funding for a three-year project, Orchard’s East, to survey and record traditional orchards across the East of England.

The cash was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and extends initiatives already developed by partner organisations, the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group and the East of England Apples and Orchards Project, across Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The project’s Hertfordshire launch is on 9 September and anyone interested in orchards is invited to attend the event in Tewin for a morning of presentations and an afternoon visit to the historic Tewin Orchard led by Michael Clark, volunteer warden, author and national apple expert.

“We’re hoping that people will volunteer to work with us on the project to help us discover more about Hertfordshire’s rich history of fruit cultivation,” said Tom Williamson, professor of History at UEA and head of the Landscape Group.

“We’ll examine traditional orchards’ environmental and cultural impact by identifying surviving sites, researching the history of fruit growing, surveying wildlife in orchards, as well as restoring important old orchards and creating new community orchards.”

The launch is at Tewin Village Memorial Hall, Tewin, Hertfordshire, AL6 0JX and Tewin Orchard from 10am – 3.30pm. The event is free but booking is necessary. Please bring your own lunch, when there will be an opportunity to talk, look at stands and try something fruity. Tea, coffee and juice are provided.

For more details or to book, please email g.broad@uea.ac.uk.

 

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