The Orchard Project (TOP) is a nationwide initiative to build and re-fruit urban communities across the UK. Last year the project planted and rejuvenated more than 2000 trees in 70 community orchards.
By creating or restoring orchards, the non-profit organisation is
- strengthening local food systems: more accessible fresh fruits and greater local control over food sovereignty, reduced food waste,
- building community: bringing people together in an age of social isolation and community breakdown. Also, a perfect way to improve the participants wellbeing,
- re-energizing farming skills like grafting, pruning, and planting,
- supporting habitats for biodiversity and increased tree coverage.
In their Climate Crisis Response Strategy, TOP emphasized the importance of providing skills, knowledge, training and support to the local community.
Thus, they have prepared training programmes, workshops on technical skills and hold regular events like apple day, cider making, film screenings and harvest festivals to engage and inspire people.
TOP's website also contains useful online materials, including lesson plans for primary schools with detailed preparation guides, stories, lists of needed equipment, and worksheet/games for pupils.