Plant a community or school orchard

How would you like to pick apples near your home, ripe from the tree when they are freshest and tastiest?

Not so long ago, orchards of all kinds of fruit trees were a common sight in the fields and gardens of England. Many have been lost, but now people are once again planting their own orchards. They are appearing around housing, in parks, school grounds, fields on the edge of towns and on village greens.

Brighton Permaculture Trust can help you

Sussex is at the forefront of planting orchards for the future. This is due in part to the work of Brighton Permaculture Trust and our partners (Action in rural Sussex, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, the Stanmer Orchard Group). We have ten years' experience of helping people to plant and maintain orchards. For a few videos of previous projects, see our YouTube channel.

Orchards can be any size – we often plant small orchards of eight trees in schools but there are no lower or upper limits. There are thirty Sussex apple varieties to choose from, and lots from elsewhere. You won't find most of them in the shops, but you can grow them yourself.

Download a leaflet (PDF).

children planting apple treeWhy plant an orchard?

  • A source of food which can last for decades
  • A place of beauty to enjoy
  • A home for all kinds of wildlife
  • An opportunity to grow unusual apple varieties with wonderful flavours
  • A place to grow other lovely fruits such as pears, plums, quinces, mulberries
  • A place to grow nutritious nuts such as walnuts and cobnuts.

Cordon treesWhat we offer

  • Site assessments and orchard design
  • Trees and planting materials
  • Guided planting days (all ages, all abilities catered for) and aftercare visits
  • Follow up visits summer and winter to advise on tree care
  • Workshops to introduce the theme of orchards to children or adults
  • Fruit cookery sessions
  • Apple juice pressing on a traditional press – a group activity for all ages
  • A one-day training in looking after young fruit trees
  • Training in other orchard skills: pruning, grafting, scything, creating a forest garden
  • Advice on restoring older and neglected orchards

How much is an orchard?

Our charges vary according to how many elements you would like to take up. We also have limited funding we can contribute in specific circumstances. Please do get in touch to find out more.

  • Coldean Zoe
    "We had a great time. Nice to learn something new! Really good to see the plans for Haig Park developing the community."

    Zoe, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

  • Coldean David
    "I enjoyed it as everyone did, look forward to seeing them grow."

    David, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

  • Coldean Siobhan
    "It was really interesting and now I feel really inspired. Thank you."

    Siobhan, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

  • Coldean Sue
    "Beautiful, it’s going to look wonderful."

    Sue, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

  • Coldean Tina
    "Thank you. My son had a great time digging with his Dad this morning."

    Tina, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

  • Coldean Rose
    "Fantastic! Thanks for all your hard work"

    Rose, Coldean orchard planting, January 2018

drawings of apples