Community Orchards

Inspiring change: Chorleywood Community Orchard
Inspiring change: Chorleywood Community Orchard (above)

Community Orchards offer a way of saving vulnerable old orchards and opportunities to plant new ones.

Pressure on land for new houses and roads and the importation of cheap fruit from abroad has caused the loss of many of these small orchards. Orchards in villages and on the edge of towns are prime targets for development.

Community Orchards offer great potential in both town and country. They can work in housing estates, industrial estates, hospitals and schools. They can enliven the curriculum, improve our diet, and be places of tranquility for rest and contemplation.

The success of a Community Orchard lies in the strength of local commitment to it. Local people are the key to running it and deciding how it is used. These orchards do not have economic fruit production as their main purpose, yet they might just pay for themselves, with income generated through the sale of fruit and other produce – everything from wild flower seeds to mistletoe. In the longer term, fruit wood, as well as coppiced hazel, could generate healthy returns.

Wildlife may benefit too. The natural bounty of traditional orchards, with standard trees skirted by hedges and unimproved grassland, is increasingly celebrated by national agencies and local enthusiasts alike.

Community Orchards could be the focal point for community activities and events which could include:-

  • Celebrating Apple Day on 21 October
  • Picnics and great feasts
  • Climbing and scrumping
  • Open-air classroom
  • Beekeeping
  • Picking and tastings
  • Pruning and grafting days
  • Community wildlife observances

Do you know of an area in Chesham that could be used as a Community Orchard? If so, or if you are interested in discussing this further, then email us at

Community Orchards near Chesham include:

Kiln Common Orchard (Prestwood Nature) –

Chalfont St Peter Community Orchard -

Chorleywood Community Orchard -

For more info about Apple Day and the campaign to save community orchards, visit