A community orchard is one where the fruit is available for free for anyone in the community. When we first decided we’d set one up in Buxton we thought in terms of a single location and spent a lot of time looking for a suitable site in the town, to no avail. Then we realised that a Dispersed Community Orchard was a far better idea. Not only are suitable small plots much easier to find, and we can keep expanding the orchard for ever as new sites become available, but a lot more people can benefit from having an orchard nearby. Last but not least the responsibility for looking after the trees can more easily be spread around, with a small team of people taking care of each site.
We started planting in earnest in early 2011, and have added to the orchard every winter since then. In November/December 2021 we planted a further 13 trees, six of which were in a new site (Sherwood Road) and seven added to existing sites (Cote Heath and Gadley Lane).
We now, in 2022, we have over 100 trees in the town spread across 11 sites. The majority are apple but we also have pear, cherry, greengage, plum and damson. We’re trialing different varieties to see which do best in the Buxton climate.
You can see where they all are on this map. Most of the trees have been sponsored by individual donations. Inevitably a few get damaged or die, but we do always replace them as soon as we can.
We are looking for new sites to expand the orchard into in 2022 and beyond so if you have an idea for a possible site, please email us. We also welcome volunteers to join our orchard maintenance team. If you’d like to get involved, contact us at email@example.com.
And of course, if we are to keep on expanding the orchard, by planting more trees, we need more sponsors. It costs £25 to provide the tree, stake, tie, guard and a contribution towards ongoing maintenance, and we provide a gift certificate if you wish. You can download the sponsorship form here or, even easier, complete the form below to sponsor immediately.
Ben Evens, our Orchard Leader was interviewed on Radio Derby recently, here is the interview:
Latest update 07/02/22