Create an Orchard

Action 17 of the ECDC Climate Change agenda for 2022 is to relaunch the 'Create an Orchard Programme' in East Cambridgeshire to establish at least 7 more orchards to add to our 20 orchards from last year.

Find out more about our Top 20 Actions for 2022/23

Why orchards?

Orchards are classed as priority habitats by the National Trust.

Orchards provide

  • Ecological value
    • Carbon capture
    • Soil stability
    • Water retention
  • Wildlife value
    • Diverse insect populations
    • Roosting and food for birds and bats
  • Cultural value
    • Food source
    • Provide shade
    • Beautiful

What we can offer you

We can

  • Provide up to 10 fruit trees for each eligible application
  • Provide stakes and planting equipment for every tree ordered
  • Offer educational workshops on how to plant and look after your orchard
  • Support you in building your community volunteer base

Who is eligible?

  • Parish Councils
  • Community centres and groups
  • Schools and other educational settings
  • Urban spaces accessible to the public
  • Priority will be given to those who were not successful in securing trees last year.

Terms and Conditions

  • Formal permission to plant from the landowner. If the Council is the landowner, please contact and we can check permissions for you.
  • Enough space to accommodate your chosen amount of trees - each tree should be between 4 to 5 meters apart.
  • A commitment to watering the trees regularly for the first 2 years of life and more during the dry summer months.
  • A sunny spot - fruit trees need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day on average, so avoid heavily shaded areas.
  • Soil that is not vulnerable to flooding and has good drainage.
  • To be able to provide an opportunity to get the public/community involved in the creation or restoration of the orchard.
  • A community commitment to maintaining and nurturing your orchard for generations to come.
  • Be ready to plant around the end of January/beginning of February once the trees are delivered.
  • All planted trees will be included in the Queen's Jubilee Canopy project.

How to apply

Please complete the online application form.

If you are successful

You will need:

  • To agree to plant the trees in the location stipulated in your application, undertake reasonable endeavours to maintain the trees in a healthy condition and accept all future health and safety responsibilities for the trees once planted.
  • Once the trees are passed to you, you accept that ECDC has no liability or responsibility for them. You also accept that any trees which fail to establish will not be replaced by ECDC (unless spare trees become available, or a second round of Create an Orchard is launched).
  • You further accept that ECDC may name and map the location of the orchard via its website or other communications.