Working with hundreds of new volunteers, the project will survey and record old orchard sites across the East of England, as well as research the social, cultural and economic history of fruit growing in the region.

Results of these investigations will be widely shared through education and publication.

The project also hopes to restore important old orchards, and to create new examples, for the enjoyment of local communities.

Our aims

  • Survey and record the history of orchards across the region
  • Identify surviving sites and record new orchards
  • Research the history of local orchards across the region
  • Undertake surveys of the wildlife of orchards, particularly traditional orchards
  • Promote the cultural history of orchards and uses of fruit
  • Help to restore important old orchards through advice and appropriate training
  • Support and guide the creation of new orchards, for communities, farms, schools and private land owners
  • Raise the profile of orchards and their important role as habitats for biodiversity
  • Simply celebrate and enjoy orchards, past, present and future!

All you need to get involved is an interest in orchards and a love for your local area.

Who we are

The project is collaboration between the Landscape Group in the School of History at UEA, and Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group (STOG). Based at UEA, the project is run by a Management Team, with the assistance of an Advisory Board comprised of representatives from East of England Apples and Orchards Project,  County Orchard Groups and county Local Environmental Record Centres.

What we hope to achieve

Our aims will be achieved by:

  • Working with volunteers to complete parish surveys of traditional orchard sites
  • Working with volunteers to explore the history of local orchards
  • Working with expertsto undertake detailed habitat and historical surveys of selected sites
  • Employing web based systems and DNA analysis to identify historic fruit and nut varieties,
  • Establishing local propagation and a buying scheme to assist in the supply of trees for orchards
  • Establishing five ‘collection orchards’ per county, each planted with characteristic local varieties
  • Helping local communities to create up to 30 new orchard sites across the region
  • Delivering a programme of training, events and activities related to building skills in traditional orchard management.
  • Publishing online advice on fruit and nut culture, orchard planting and management for habitat and crop, and orchard history
  • Making the results of the project available to the general public, the Peoples’ Trust for Endangered Species, Natural England and other county and regional partners