Newquay Community Orchard: helping people, helping the planet

Wide shot of Newquay Community Orchard, including a variety of vegetable plots on a grey day.

Recently I had to pleasure to visit a rather amazing place near Newquay in Cornwall, Newquay Community Orchard. The site is based on seven acres of land, gifted by the Duchy of Cornwall at the edge of Nansledan, just outside Newquay.

There are so many wonderful things happening here, it is rather tricky to describe it, so I’ve also included their lovely video about what sustainability means to them and how they work to help encompass everything that they are about (scroll to the end of this blog to see it).

Personally, I would describe Newquay Community Orchard as a gathering space where people in the community can come together and do something very practical to help make our world fairer and our lifestyles more sustainable.

It feels like an island of refuge for many people who feel cast adrift in the desolate ocean of self-interest, media hype and social disconnection prevalent in society today. Here people find friendly welcoming faces and are invited in to be part of the Orchard family on whatever level suits them.

In this way, the orchard uses green spaces to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

This ramshackle, but charming group of self-built sheds and garden beds provide a welcoming space for everyone who wants to pop in. They have no electricity or running water but get by with batteries, composting loos and a food van which serves meals to volunteers helping in the gardens – oh and a whole lot of love and effort from the people who run the place.

Part of its success is the fact that it’s in the heart of the community, right alongside the leisure centre, with free parking and wonderful views.

The team here are committed to encouraging people to learn to grow their own food and offer gardening help, advice and seeds. Activities include horticulture, woodwork, conservation and events, and people can develop new skills and earn qualifications.

They also run a Food for Change programme in partnership with Cornwall Food Foundation which teaches horticultural skills, planting, cultivation and harvest based around the seasons, thus promoting as they put it rather beautifully in the video “a culture where we create food footsteps rather than food miles.”

There are now hundreds of volunteers who support the orchard, with further developments planned. The Duchy of Cornwall is helping to provide a new building on site that will include a small café, community markets, and drop-in services offering counselling and advice. Also in the pipeline is an amphitheatre where the team plan to stage musical, theatre, outdoor cinema and comedy events.

“We want to create a space in which people can grow, learn and feel included,” says Luke Berkeley, managing director of the project. “We want to show that it is possible to have environmentally sustainable economic growth. This is at the core of Nansledan’s ethos and underpins what we do at Newquay Community Orchard”.


To find out more you can watch the video here:


You can visit the project website here:


Enjoy an eco-friendly break in Cornwall

If you would like to enjoy a  break in Cornwall, we’ve got a range of cottages which sleep 4-12 people and we’ve won many awards because we are passionate about sustainability – find out more and check availability.

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