RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 416/PRO/6
Extent14 magazine files, 62 lever arch files, 43 box files, 30 ring binders, 23 boxes, 1 volume, 2 small slide boxes, 2 filing cabinet drawers
DescriptionIn 1987, Common Ground began work on the Orchards project, also known as Common Ground's Campaign to Conserve Old Orchards and Plant New Ones. Sue Clifford and Angela King (Co-Directors of Common Ground), first became aware of the sharp decline in orchards within the UK whilst conducting research for the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project [see EUL MS 416/PRO/4 for archive material relating to the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project]. They realised that, in addition to the ecological impact, this decline also signified a loss of associated cultural practices. The Orchards project aimed to promote the ecological and cultural importance of orchards, to campaign for orchards to be conserved and planted, and to revive interest in local fruit varieties.

Common Ground's Orchards project involved a number of different campaigns, initiatives, events, and publications. The two main campaigns were 'Save our Orchards' (launched in 1988), which advocated the conservation of traditional orchards, and 'Community Orchards' (launched in 1992), which encouraged the planting of new orchards for the use of communities. The 'Apple Day' initiative was introduced by Common Ground in 1990 to establish a new calendar custom to raise awareness of the increasing loss of local apple varieties and the cultural importance of the apple [see EUL MS 416/PRO/8 for archive material relating to Apple Day]. A further initiative named 'Orchard Observances began in 1995, which encouraged orchard owners and users to keep nature diaries. In the 1990s and 2000s, Common Ground encouraged schools to plant school orchards to use in environmental education. At the same time, Common Ground was involved in various local orchard initiatives around the country and supported many communities, groups and organisations who were also campaigning for orchards.

As conjunction with the Orchards project, Common Ground commissioned two photographers to photograph orchards: the first being being James Ravilious to photograph orchards in the West Country in 1989, and the second being Simon Canetty-Clark to photograph orchards in Kent in 1990. These commissions resulted in two touring exhibitions, and James Ravilious's photographs were put on display at the first Apple Day in Covent Garden in 1990. In 1999, an 'Orchards and Wild Life' conference was organised by Common Ground and English Nature. Several publications were produced by Common Ground as part of the Orchards project: a book entitled 'Orchards: a guide to local conservation' (1989), 'The Apple Source Book' (1991), an 'Apple Map' (1993), 'Apple Games and Customs' (1994), a one-off newspaper 'The Apple Broadcast', a book entitled 'The Common Ground Book of Orchards' (2000), and a book entitled 'The Community Orchards Handbook' (2008), as well as 'Orchard Advice' information sheets, leaflets and postcards.

A number of people at Common Ground worked on the Orchards project over the years, including Sue Clifford, Angela King, Daniel Keech, Jane Kendall, Kate O'Farrell and Neil Sinden.

Material in this section of the archive includes:

- files of assorted material relating to the administration of the Orchards project by Common Ground, including correspondence, project planning papers, financial papers, reports, meeting minutes, press releases, press clippings, manuscript project notes, and drafts of articles and talks;

- material relating to campaigns, initiatives and events launched and managed by Common Ground as part of the Orchards project, as well as material collected by Common Ground concerning orchard projects and events organised by other organisations and groups;

- files of correspondence from people around the country relating to orchards;

- research material, including 'Orchards Info' files, reports, and files of material relating to different subjects, such as orchards produce, wildlife and culture;

- press clippings and papers relating to publicity;

- and photographic material.
Also includes some records in French, German and Dutch
FormatVarious formats
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialSee EUL MS 416/PRO/8 for material relating specifically to the Apple Day project.
Access ConditionsPlease note that access to some files is restricted subject to Data Protection legislation. Access may only be provided on a case-by-case basis and upon completion of a Data Protection form.
ArrangementThe large majority files in this section of the archive were originally kept together by Common Ground; however, they have been rearranged into series to reflect the different activities within the project and to provide contextual information for users. The original order within each file has been preserved. Duplicates have been removed and disposed of wherever possible within these files, but three examples of each document have been retained.
Creator_NameCommon Ground; arts and environmental charity (1982-)
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