Traditional Orchard Survey
Traditional orchards are wildlife havens. Alarmingly we have lost 90% of this precious habitat since the 1950s. You can play a vital role in finding and studying traditional orchards to preserve these special places.
In order to save our traditional orchards, and the thousands of animals they support, we need to know where they remain and what condition they are in. Together with wildlife lovers like you we have been locating the traditional orchards of the UK for the last eight years.
Locating traditional orchards is sometimes problematic. Ordnance Survey (OS) maps do not tell us the age or condition of particular orchards, and many orchards are not marked at all, so we have used aerial photographs to identify traditional orchards sites. Our volunteers across England and Wales visit the sites and tell us if they still exist and help to gather additional information that enables us to assess their condition. Over 35,000 individual orchards in England, and 4,600 in Wales, have been identified and around 20% of these have been surveyed so far. We have built on the work of many local and national groups working on orchards and their wildlife to help us achieve this. Our task is ongoing and as you can see from our Google map of traditional orchards there are still plenty of orchards that need your help to protect them for the future.
We are recruiting volunteers throughout England and Wales. There are a number of ways you can help:
Survey your local area
- Email email@example.com or call 020 7498 4533 to request a survey pack to be sent in the post. The pack provides clear survey instructions and ID guides together with a map of orchard sites in your local area.
- Download the free PTES Orchard Mapper app for iPhone and Android to survey orchards already mapped by us and add additional ones that you find.
Tell us about an orchard you own or know of
- If you are an orchard owner or manager in England or Wales please complete and return our orchard owner questionnaire.
- To tell us of other traditional orchards email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7498 4533 with details.
- Download the free PTES Orchard Mapper app for iPhone and Android to add information to sites we already know about, add new sites or tell us about your orchard.
Learn how to manage your orchard for wildlife
- Download our guide to wildlife and management of traditional orchards in England
- Download our bilingual guide to wildlife and management of traditional orchards in Wales
For more information and free advice please contact email@example.com. We encourage more traditional methods of orchard management, aim to raise the profile of local fruit and heritage varieties, work with many other orchard projects, and contribute to orchard conservation wherever possible.
Survey pack documents
- Traditional Orchard Survey instructions
- Traditional Orchard Survey form
- Orchard type guide
- Indicators of orchard management guide
- Fruit tree identification guide
- Orchard grading system guide
- Noble chafer fact file
- Orchard owner letter
- Orchard owner questionnaire
- Please also read our health and safety guidelines for volunteers
Findings so far
Since the survey began in 2006 we have achieved an enormous amount thanks to over 700 survey volunteers and nearly 800 orchard owners. We have even found a noble chafer population in Kent where it has not been recorded for over 60 years. The maps that we have produced are being put to good use throughout the UK. For example, in Gloucestershire they are being used to target owners for Environmental Stewardship schemes and in Devon, new markets are being found for people to sell their fruit. From the volunteer surveys we have assessed that in England only 9% of sites are in excellent condition, 45% good and 46% poor. For Wales 7% are excellent, 58% good and 35% poor. View the full reports for England and Wales in our wildlife reports section. View our Google map of traditional orchards.
More about orchard wildlife
Read more about the traditional orchard habitat and its special wildlife such as the magnificent noble chafer beetle. You can also follow the links to our orchard campaign partners.