Doorstep Orchard was a People’s Postcode Lottery funded project which aimed to improve, raise awareness and encourage the use of an orchard recently planted for the local residents by local councilors. The project also aimed to enable residents of Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall to enjoy the benefits of the local natural environment, understand and appreciate the wildlife it supports and participate in its improvement and conservation.
The project was hugely successful. Five local primary schools have all been to the orchard three times to learn about the wildlife there and complete conservation tasks. In addition, OASES ran four family events for local residents. We engaged 179 children and 52 adults through the school sessions and 44 adults and 86 children attended the family events.
The conservation activities that were undertaken have improved the site through the planting of 70 additional trees, creating 1 bug hotel, making 2 habitat piles, installing 5 hedgehog homes, building 10 bird boxes and producing 20 bee homes. The community are now more aware of the orchard, its wildlife value and the fruit that is available to them for free!
The individuals involved have been educated on the importance of the orchard for themselves, pollinators, and local wildlife. They have also gained hands on experience creating habitats and developing and applying conservation skills. They now know how and when to pick the fruits, and the importance of eating locally sourced food.