The Orchard: An Update

Monday 17 August 2015

Tree Cathedral in Milton Keynes

This Autumn, we launch the community orchard instigated by artist David Thorpe, in a series of events and projects called Sharing the Harvest.

Apple Day

The first public event will be the inaugural Hengrove Orchard Apple Day, taking place on Saturday 24 October. Apple Day is a national celebration of fruit orchards and local distinctiveness. Initiated by an organization called Common Ground in 1990, it is celebrated each year by hundreds of communities across the UK. Join us to find out more about growing your own food, discover different ways to use locally-produced fruit and learn traditional orchard skills and crafts.

Then, on 25 and 26 November 2015, we invite local residents to join schoolchildren, volunteers and the Orchard team to help to plant the first fruit trees on Whitchurch Village Green.

The project is supported by: Members of Elmtree Residents Association, Tree BristolParks Department Bristol City Council, One Tree Per Child and South Bristol Skills Academy.


The Orchard

The Orchard is designed by artist David Thorpe and commissioned by Bristol City Council as part of the Future Perfect public art programme. David was invited to visit Hengrove in 2013, and spent time talking to residents about their hopes for their community. The outcome was an artwork that is both functional and beautiful, and will contribute to the identity and resources of Hengrove.

The design created by Thorpe proposes a community orchard in which large growing fruit and nut trees are planted according to the floor plan of a cathedral. The Orchard will form a beautiful natural structure for Hengrove, as well as provide food in abundance and a grand meeting place for the community. 

The Orchard Club

Want to get more involved with your community? As part of the legacy of the project, the Future Perfect team and the City Council are working to establish The Orchard Club. We are interested in hearing from individuals, particularly those who live near the site of The Orchard.

If you would like to get involved with setting up the new orchard, help with Apple Day or Wassail - or are just curious to find out more - please get in touch with us by emailing


About Sharing the Harvest

Sharing the Harvest has been created to help establish the The Orchard Club, and celebrates traditional events such as Wassail and skills that are associated with growing fruit, from storytelling to basketry to cider-making. The two-year programme is led by artists, makers, horticulturalists and historians, and will provide residents and young people with many opportunities to get involved.

The team delivering Sharing the Harvest is Tessa Fitzjohn (Project Manager) and Rowan Lear (Communications), who are working closely with One Tree Per Child to organise the planting and community involvement.

Future Perfect is commissioned by Bristol City Council and is the first public art programme to be funded through a Neighbourhood Partnership in which governance is extended to members of the Hengrove community. Contact   Legal