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 have teamed up with Garden Organic to offer a course to people interested in becoming Orchard Champions. The course involves 5 training days and a commitment to 30 hours volunteer time across a 12 month period.

Could it be you?

Our course for this year is now full but we’re hoping to be able to run another soon. Anyone can be an Orchard Champion. You don’t have to be an expert in traditional orchards, although it would help if you have some orchard knowledge. Orchard Champions will be of all ages, backgrounds and cultures – meaning Orchard Champions can reach out into the  community.

As an Orchard Champion you’ll be part of a larger network of like-minded people who want to save traditional orchards.

Our project is working in :

Gorsley, Kilcot and Longney in Gloucestershire,

Whitbourne, Breinton and Ross on Wye in Herefordshire

Rochford / Tenbury, Evesham, Pershore and Alfrick in Worcestershire.

We’d especially like to hear from you if you live here and we’ll be asking our Orchard Champions to work with groups in these areas.

Course information

Training dates for the 2017

champions are as follows:

Introductory Weekend

Sat 18th & Sun 19th March 2017

Alfrick, Worcestershire

Healthy Orchards

Sat June 10th 2017

Colwall, Malvern

A whistle-stop tour of the orchard habitat and a look at soil, wildlife & pests.

Harvesting the Past

Sunday September 17th 2017

Worcester Countryside Centre, Worcester

Looking at traditional varieties, fruit I.D basics and using the fruit crop.

Man Made Eden

Date to be confirmed.

Days Cottage Orchard Centre, nr Stroud

Fruit tree pruning in young and old trees & veteran orchard restoration

Interested?

You can read more about the role by clicking on the link below.

Orchard Champion person profile and role

If you think this is for you then get in touch and ask to join our waiting list.

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Humphries who will be pleased to help.

khumphries@worcestershire.gov.uk

01684 560616

 

And in the meantime ….

We run lots of practical work and learning days as well as putting on events, doing orchard related history and heritage project and wildlife and fruit surveys. Take a look at our website calendar and join us for all or any of them.