Wildside - community orchard

by Lindsay White in Winchelsea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Wildside - community orchard
We did it
On 17th December 2021 we successfully raised £215 with 10 supporters in 32 days

We hope to turn 20 acres of disused farmland into a workable and educational space for the community, including food production projects.

by Lindsay White in Winchelsea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Who are we?

Community Supporters is a new Rother based environmental education charity. We aim to educate about and improve the local environment in 4 main areas - Woodlands, Waterways, Countryside and Urban.

What do we aim to achieve?

Community Supporters is launching a new Community Orchard and Forest School.

We have been kindly offered the lease of 20 acres of currently disused orchard and a copse. which we will develop into a community orchard, forest school with an education/meeting space. 


We are looking to bring the orchard back to its former glory, after which we will be able to develop our educational program, increase local food production, as well as raising awareness of rural jobs and the long-term importance of looking after our orchards and woodlands. 

What the site will offer you?

Forest School will be open for families, community groups, schools. We will run regular hands-on learning sessions, covering a range of topics and developing skills. Sessions will be adaptable to all ages, abilities, and interests. 

The project will offer ongoing training opportunities in the art of orcharding, and how to maintain a healthy orchard and support the biodiversity within. There is already an onsite cafe and you will be helping to support the growth of the local economy when you visit this project as we will be able to introduce more locally grown produce and support the development of a local produce shop on site.



How does a community orchard benefit people?

The health benefits of outdoor spaces are well known. Being outdoors has been proved to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and strengthen immunity. Being in a natural environment also helps you feel calmer, be more creative, and boost your natural vitamin D levels.

With our focus being on fruiting trees and agriculture we will also be well placed to support people seeking a healthier lifestyle and diet. By working alongside other groups and being part of the Hastings and Rother Food Partnership we will be able to support families in a number of ways.

How does a community orchard benefit the environment?

 By capturing carbon from the atmosphere and supporting local cooling, orchards are a great nature based solution in terms of our climate.

Orchards are classified as ‘Priority Habitats’ by Natural England and DEFRA, and are included as such in the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan. This is because they make ideal homes for thousands of species of flora and fauna. So not only will you be supporting the regeneration of an orchard, but also helping us encourage a high level of biodiversity, some species which are specific to orchards such as the Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle.

In the last 70 years there has been a huge dip in the number of orchards as we have moved away from small-scale fruit farming. A loss of these bio-diverse hotspots meant a loss of suitable habitats for wildlife.

Thank you from us.

We'd like to say thank you for your support.

We'd also like to say thank you to East Sussex County Council who have generously offered to match any funds we raise over and including £1000 through their Projects that Matter fund. This means that any money you donate will be doubled. GREAT NEWS! 

You support and money means we can begin the work of making the site safe and accessible to visitors, creating pathways for easier access for all, and funding a programme of activity for the local community. 

Thank you.

 To see more of what we do visit our website


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£30 or more

Sponsor a fruit tree

Here is you opportunity to be a part of this project long term. By sponsoring a new fruit tree within the community orchard you will not only be bringing the orchard back to life, but you'll have the knowledge that your tree will be enjoyed by future generations of both humans and the local wildlife alike.

£5 or more

Our heartfelt gratitude

Your donation means so much to us. For a £5 donation we offer the biggest thank you we can give in supporting our exciting project.

£10 or more

Sponsor some equipment

Your donation will go directly towards supplying our volunteers with the correct tools and safety equipment to ensure the orchard is maintained to the highest standard for all to enjoy.

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