Community Orchards

Have you ever wondered what variety that pear tree in your back garden is? Or why the apples on your neighbour’s tree never get picked?

This community orchard project aims to do four key things:

Create a map of all the ‘top’ fruit trees (like apples, pears, peaches but not bushes like blackcurrants) currently growing in Farnham
Hold community ‘fruit-based’ events such as harvesting, fruit identification days (you may have a ‘lost’ variety growing in your garden!), community juicing, educational trails, and apple days.
Encourage the planting of fruit trees in gardens and public places, to be shared by the community.
Create a community orchard by restoring an old orchard or by replanting a new one.


Projects like this one are already taking off across the country (see links below).

They are important and people enjoy them because they:

> Promote Community well-being
Community food projects such as the orchards project help to improve people’s access to healthy, affordable and sustainable food.

> Are Educational
The community orchard project will offer a range of educational opportunities, courses and events. It aims to encourage healthy eating by raising awareness, and will help adults and children to learn about the origins of their food.

> Encourage Biodiversity
Orchards are also important habitats for wildlife. In 2007 orchards were designated a Priority UK Biodiversity Habitat by the UK Government.

What we are doing now:

The first stage of the project will map the top fruit trees already growing in Farnham, recording where they are and what variety they are. “Top fruit trees” means apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, nuts etc.

How can I get involved?

Whether you own a single tree or an entire orchard we would love to hear from you. We’d also love to hear from you if you don’t own any trees at all but would like to get involved! Simply email Paula Burgess at farnham [dot] orchards  [at] googlemail [dot] com, or call us via the Contact page.

Other Orchard related Links:

If you would like to find out more about what other similar projects are doing, you can look here:

Common Ground –
Sustain Orchard Project –
Natural England –

And if you find any other links that you think we would find interesting, please let us know!


11 Responses to Community Orchards

  1. Jo Booton says:

    I was at the Bourne Residents’ Assocation meeting on Monday night and was particularly keen on the idea of planting more fruit and nut trees locally. It occurs to me that to have an impact on a wider scale, Farnham Town Council (and possibly Waverley Borough Council) could change their approach so that any new trees they plant would, as a default, be fruit or nut trees. Is this something you have considered exploring with them?

    Also, it would be great if Finn could share the slides he showed on Monday.

    Many thanks


  2. Paula Burgess says:

    Hi Valerie,

    If you want to send the details of your trees (with just your name and post code) – please email them to me using farnham [dot] orchards [at] googlemail [dot] com and I will make sure they are added to the map.



  3. Valerie Steel says:

    Old pear & damson trees in my garden – I’d be interested to find out what varieties, how to care for them, and to have them added to map.
    There’s also a self-seeded apple tree across the road from my house, and a self-seeded damson by the taxi rank at Farnham station: community fruit trees already in place!

  4. Thomas Lankester says:

    Nice start Paula!

    I don’t know of any fruit trees (except Rosalie’s Greengage) and sadly I would not recognise most anyway (unless an piece fell on my head). I might be able to contribute on the mapping side (as per our earlier discussion and tree icons).

    Are you going to include nut trees?
    Or a guide to planting / keeping fruit trees. I would be interested in grubbing up a couple of sprawling cob nut trees and putting in something more manageable and productive (sorry squirrels!).



  5. Casper says:

    Well done Paula,
    I will get the logo, as per the concepts we discussed yesterday, to you soon.

  6. eloisegrey says:

    Cool! I’ve got lots of apple and ‘not sure what’ trees around me. Would be great to get them on the list and start learning about what they are.


  7. paula burgess says:

    Thanks Robert,

    I already have a copy of the Sustain book! Am looking forward to reading it during my vacation.


  8. Rob Simpson says:


    SUSTAIN have published a report on our Orchard

    Heritage. Details at

    It’s a good resource for Paula Burgess.

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