This winter we’ve helped schools and communities plant eighteen small orchards across Sussex. With our partners Action in rural Sussex, we have worked with hundreds of schoolchildren in twelve schools and community members of mixed ages in six other locations to create orchards.
At most schools, we carried out an initial ‘orchard workshop,’ where we tasted different varieties, discussed what happens to the apple trees in each season, and drank local apple juice. On the planting day, we led the planting with lots of participation and lots of discussion about the hows and whys as we went along. Those who weren’t planting were often taking part in apple cookery workshops with Community Chef Robin van Creveld, and in some places cooks and planters got together at the end to warm up with some freshly made apple and squash soup.
Manor Primary School in Uckfied decided to plant an orchard to celebrate the Jubilee. The whole school went ‘off timetable’ for the day and did everything from apple maths to apple poetry and apple art. BBC Southeast Today came to film on what turned out to be a very wet but successful day.
All the orchard locations are listed below.
In Brighton and Hove:
- Whitehawk Primary School
- Mile Oak Primary School, Portslade
- Cedar Centre, Brighton
- Dorothy Stringer School, Brighton (click here to find out more)
- Varndean School, Brighton
- Phoenix Community Centre, Brighton (Phoenix Centre Garden website)
- St Luke’s Church, Brighton
- Wish Park, Hove (click here to find out more)
- London Road Station (London Road Station Partnership website, article in The Argus, video of orchard planting)
- Saunders Park, Brighton
In East Sussex:
- Claverham Community College, Battle
- West St Leonards Primary School
- Southdown Primary School, Newhaven
- Grays Infant School, Newhaven
In West Sussex:
- St Margaret’s Primary School, Crawley
- Manor Primary School, Uckfield
- Manor Field Primary School, Burgess Hill
- Billingshurst Station Road Gardens
These 18 orchards are in addition to the 3 larger orchards we have helped plant this winter at Littlehampton, Chichester, and Craven Vale.