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Eliminate apple miles without a garden

All Areas > Environment > Save the Planet

Author: Caroline Bennett, Posted: Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 08:00

An apple from New Zealand can clock up 12,000 miles before it reaches the supermarket. Even British apples can go up and down the M6 a few times en route to the fruit bowl. You might have fantasised about owning your own orchard one day – pruning in the winter, checking the blossom in spring, eating apples straight from the tree. To most of us that sounds like a pipe dream. The average British garden size is shrinking rapidly and there are over two million UK households without a garden at all.

Community run orchards
Before you pack your bags and move to a country with more space, consider joining a Community Orchard. There are over 80 community orchards or fruitshare initiatives happening right here in Gloucestershire. Some connect people who have space with those who can actually eat all the fruit. Others are orchards in public spaces, which are entirely community run. Some are informal, others have membership schemes and volunteering rates in exchange for shares of the harvest.

Lots of events across the county
It’s not just apples. Plums, cherries, pears, quinces and nuts are some of the trees being taken care of by members of the community. There are city orchards and country orchards so there’s something for everyone. To find out more visit On this excellent website you can see a list of orchards, events across Gloucestershire and a host of other information. Events run by community orchard groups include wassailing (drinking cider and singing to promote the health of the trees), pruning workshops, juicing days and apple harvest celebrations.

Here are some apple facts to get your juices going:

  • Gloucestershire has a great history of apple growing with 185 apple varieties native to the county alone. 
  • One large apple tree can produce a quarter of a tonne of fruit.
  • Apples can be stored for several months in dark, cool consistent conditions.
  • 10kg of apples will produce five litres of juice.

How about them apples? Why not join in with the fruit revolution?

Caroline is a member of the Gloucestershire Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP), a group of organisations aiming to help educate people in the county about the environment. For more information see

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