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On-site orchard design course for community groups

This 1-day training course is intended for groups in the process of establishing a community orchard project. You will learn about the various aspects of designing a new orchard, including how to assess your orchard site, different planting patterns, and how to determine the number and choice of fruit tree varieties. At the end of the course you should be confident about starting your own orchard project.

A unique feature of this course is that our course tutors will come to you - the idea is that the course is run at your orchard location (or nearby) so that as many of your group as possible can attend, and the course can be tailored to your particular circumstances.

Target audience

Community orchard groups, local authorities, community partnerships, local food initiatives - or any group looking to establish a new community orchard project.

Topics covered

Orchard objectives, kinds of fruit, uses

Site survey and evaluation

Choice of rootstock and planting distance

Planting pattern

Number and choice of varieties

Orchard layout

Projected yield

Field exercises

A site survey and appraisal exercise and a planting pattern exercise.

Case studies

Discussion of sites of particular interest to you.

Course tutor

Dr Philip Wilson has worked in various aspects of top fruit culture and plant propagation and has an orchard containing over 120 varieties.

Philip is supported by Richard Borrie, the Editor of


Course fee: £600 + travel / accomodation expenses + VAT.

The course fee is for the 1-day course, regardless of how many people attend. We do not restrict the number of people attending, as we want to make it as easy as possible for all members of a community orchard project to participate. However 4-10 people is likely to be the most productive size.

Payment can be made by various methods and we are able to advise on funding applications.

We will charge travel expenses by the most effective route, and overnight accommodation if necessary, but any such costs will be agreed in advance with the course organiser.

Notes for group organisers

The concept behind this orchard design course is that our course tutors will travel to your location. The course can be tailored to your particular project requirements, and can include a visit to the proposed orchard site.

Your group will need suitable outdoor clothes for the local conditions. Some prior knowledge of fruit growing is helpful but not essential.

We will require a meeting room or conference room with sufficient space for the number of people you expect to attend. Participants will need writing materials. Computer presentation facilities would be helpful but not essential. The course is arranged in morning and afternoon sessions with a break for lunch and refreshments.

The course includes some outdoor exercises. These require an open field.

As part of the course the tutors will also be available to visit and discuss your proposed site and/or visit nearby orchards if time permits. If your proposed orchard site is accessible the tutors will show you how to dig a soil pit and make a preliminary assessment of the soil and the general site situation.

The course tutors are prepared to travel to most locations in the UK or western Europe, but availability is subject to other commitments.

To find out more get in touch with us here or call 01759 392007.