What is an Orchard Champion?
Orchard Champions are volunteers who raise awareness about traditional orchards in their local community .They also offer support to people who own or manage traditional orchards who may be having difficulties or need encouragement to restore them.
Traditional orchards are becoming increasingly rare but despite the losses the Three Counties (Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire) combined still have more orchards than the rest of the UK. To keep them, however, we need people to get involved with looking after them and that’s where Orchard Champions take centre stage.
The Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project teamed up with Garden Organic to develop a new short course.
In return for five days of ‘hands on’ and theory training by local experts our Champions agreed to do 30 hours of orchard volunteering. And to date they’ve done over 1500 hours between them – writing articles for parish newsletters, giving practical help and advice, baking and preserving and generally waving the flag for traditional orchards – an incredible feat. 40 Orchard Champions will have graduated by the time the project ends in December 18 and they are all amazing ambassadors for the project.
Our Orchard Champions come from all walks of life – they don’t have to be an expert in traditional orchards. Our training means that they all have some orchard knowledge and they all have one thing in common – a passion for orchards. We want our Orchard Champions to reach out into the community and encourage others to become part of a network of like-minded people who want to save traditional orchards.
That means that if you’ve got an orchard question one of our Champions may be able to help you.
If you’d like to know more about Orchard Champions please contact Karen Humphries, the project officer, who will be pleased to help.