Welcome to the North Cumbria Orchard Group website
North Cumbria Orchard Group is an independent association founded in 2010 to conserve, promote and celebrate orchards in North Cumbria. Although not as traditionally associated with orchards as more southerly and easterly areas of England, in years gone by, most of the farms in North Cumbria had a small orchard to supply fruit for the family and farm workers. The Group seeks to preserve what is left of these orchards and to encourage the planting of new orchard trees to conserve local varieties and to establish varieties that perform well in the local climate.
By pursuing these aims, we hope to realise a number of important benefits:
- To maintain and improve biodiversity. Orchards, and particularly traditional orchards, provide an excellent environment for a diversity of plant and animal species.
- To encourage sustainable food. Orchards produce good crops of fruit which is usable year-round for very little input. Locally produced food involves minimal energy usage and positively benefits the environment. Furthermore the flavour of such fruit is frequently superior to imported supermarket fruit and certainly provides for much greater variety and interest.
- To improve health and well-being. Eating fruit is good for you. Pressed juices are healthier than manufactured drinks and 100% juice cider is healthier than apple-based alco pops. Planting and caring for trees aids mental health and orchards in cities provide a welcome sanctuary.
- Last, but not least, if you join the Group, you can have lots of fun with all sorts of activities such as orchard visits, juicing days, pruning and grafting sessions, cookery events and social activities.