STAA runs a Community Orchard on a collection of plots on the St Anns Allotments. It is a lively hub of educational and community life centered on local children and families.
It was set up in September 2001 on several overgrown allotments. The plots – which include mature fruit trees, a pond and a stream – were cleared and planted up by volunteers, schools and community groups.
STAA currently employs three highly trained members of staff who have skills in teaching and playworking within the Forest Schools philosophy. They develop and maintain the Community Orchard to ensure it continues to evolve as a thriving educational and community resource.
If you would like to see our Creative Learning Programme for schools click here.
Joe, who has been working with us as a volunteer as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award has developed an interactive map of the orchard. You can see his work here
A place of wonder
Our orchard transforms throughout the changing seasons, providing a different experience with every visit. Below is Mark Curwood’s beautiful new video of the orchard.
A real green space
To see the Orchard in action click here to view a short film about our unique and creative learning approach called “a real green space”.
Have a look at our gallery to view images from the Community Orchard including our education work and Activity Days.
A place to learn and have fun
The Orchard provides a safe, natural and exciting place for people to learn and explore. Much of our work focuses on children varying in age from nurseries to secondary schools. Educational activities include gardening, construction, management of the environment and arts and crafts. Occasionally the site provides a learning space for gardeners on-site too. We run free sessions such as tree pruning and other horticultural skills.
The Community Orchard is also a place where we hold regular Activity Days and other open events. At these we focus on looking after the site, providing informal activities (especially for children) and seasonal events such as the annual Apple Day celebrations and our Winter Extravaganza. It’s a great opportunity for the public to come and explore the orchard, to try new skills, and to sample some of our food and drink around the fire.