The Three Counties orchards
Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire have long been famous for their orchards. Traditional orchards, with their tall trees standing in pasture, are a much loved part of our three counties landscape.
Today though the picture is somewhat different; many orchards have disappeared and most of those which remain are under used or unmanaged.
Over 80% of our traditional orchards have vanished locally as farming practices have changed and land has been cleared or developed. Local fruit varieties have been lost too, as have our skills in looking after them.
Orchards need people
Orchards need people to keep them healthy and productive and that’s where the Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project can help.
Working with local experts we’re training volunteers in practical orchard skills and helping them to improve local orchards for wildlife and discover the role they have played over the centuries.
We’re on course to restore 40 traditional orchards in key orchard areas and we need volunteers to help us do it. We’re in our third year of the project now but there’s still time to join our growing network of orchard volunteers and help to keep our traditional orchards as part of the Three Counties landscape.
Looking ahead ….
We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us a project extension, based on the success of TCTOP so far. The project will now close in March 2018, giving us more time to build on the work we’ve been doing. We’ve had some fantastic results to date and this is a chance to do even more ! It’s great news for all of us working to save our traditional orchards.