Orchards East has worked with hundreds of volunteers,  surveying and recording old orchard sites across the East of England. Results of these surveys are being fed into ongoing research and will be widely shared through education and publication. New publications are listed on this site.

The project is also researching the social, cultural and economic history of fruit growing in the region. Read our blog and our newsletters for more information.

 

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!

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.

  • Project lead - Professor Tom Williamson, The Landscape Group, School of History, UEA  
  • Project lead - Dr Paul Read, Suffolk traditional Orchard Group
  • Survey Coordinator - Genevieve Broad (gen@orchardseast.org.uk)

What we achieved

Orchards East surveyed more than 10,000 historic orchard sites across East Anglia, investigated the history of orchards and fruit in the region, recorded peoples' orchard stories and memories, and studied the importance of orchards for biodiversity and wildlife. We planted 60 new community orchards, delivered 45 orchard management, pruning and grafting workshops, plus ten traditional fruit cookery workshops. We gave talks for 40 community groups, advised more than 100 orchard owners, and identified fruit varieties from many many more! More than 1000 wonderful, invaluable volunteers were involved in many ways throughout the project.