The Orchard Project
Putting down roots for a greener city
Thoughtful use of outdoor spaces in schools can transform them into magical places for children to enjoy and learn – as well as making our city greener.
Around 120 local primary school pupils in two schools in Kensington and Chelsea will not only be welcoming a new green space on their doorstep, they’ll enjoy the benefits of beautiful fruit trees too – in their own on-site orchard.
In November 2020, we partnered with The Orchard Project, a charity that trains volunteer groups and schools to build and maintain their own urban orchards. Our grant of £14,050 will create two new primary school orchards by March 2022.
Each orchard will have at least five new fruit trees, as well as herbs, bulbs and wildflowers. To encourage biodiversity and wildlife, they’ll add bird or bat boxes and bug hotels.
Each school will be heavily involved in designing their orchard. They’ll take part in fruit tasting, to help decide what fruit trees to select and plant. They’ll also plan how to look after the orchard throughout the seasons and over the years.
The Orchard Project offers online training to three teachers per school on how to use the new orchard for experiential learning.
- Two orchards will benefit over 120 pupils, as well as staff, parents and visitors and the wider community of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.
- At other orchards developed by The Orchard Project, 75% of pupils reported increased interest in growing and eating fruit after being involved.
- Since 2009, The Orchard Project has planted and restored over 540 community orchards, resulting in 9,400 well-managed fruit trees.
“The Orchard Project is passionate about engaging people from across urban communities to become actively involved in their local orchards. We work with schools in inner-city areas to transform learning and pupils’ understanding of food and where it comes from. We believe that engaging children and young people in orchards is a great way to tie together wide-ranging and important issues in a meaningful way, and is key to creating our vision of an environmentally and socially sustainable future for all.”