About us


Welcome to Orchards East

Orchards East was an environmental and cultural project covering six counties in the East of England - Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. It was supported by the Heritage Fund.

Based at the School of History at University of East Anglia, the project ran from 2017 to 2020. The Orchards East Forum is part of the project's legacy. It was set up in 2021 and is run by a dedicated volunteer team.

With Heritage Fund support, Orchards East surveyed more than 10,000 historic orchard sites across East Anglia, investigated the history of orchards and fruit in the region, recorded peoples' orchard stories and memories, and studied the importance of orchards for biodiversity and wildlife. We planted 60 new community orchards, delivered 45 orchard management, pruning and grafting workshops, plus 10 traditional fruit cookery workshops. We gave talks for 40 community groups, advised more than 100 orchard owners, and identified fruit varieties from many many more! More than 1000 wonderful, invaluable volunteers were involved in many ways throughout the project.

Four pails apples

We welcome more volunteers! If you want to be kept informed about our activities, please contact info@orchardseast.org.uk or t.williamson@uea.ac.uk.

Our data protection policy can be consulted here: OEF Privacy policy master 29 07 21