We have a small core staff of three, and rely on dozens of volunteers, specialists and partner organisations to make it all happen.
The project is the brainchild of Carina Millstone. She thought of the project back in December 2008, after getting involved with the Transition Town movement and delving into permaculture. Her background is in sustainability consultancy, but she has also developed on-the-ground experience over the years. She’s been trained in permaculture design and orchard management, and is involved in green politics.
Carina founded the project with close friend Rowena Ganguli. Before joining the project, Rowena founded her own eco-conscious giftware business, and worked for organic food company Abel and Cole. She has now become a Trustee of the project, and spends her days buying apples for Innocent.
Kath Rosen is the Chief Executive Officer of the project. She joined the London Orchard Project in Oct 2011, with a focus on developing and implementing the project's activities. Kath has worked in the voluntary sector for over 15 years, for BTCV and other environmental charities. She completed a permaculture design course while working on food growing projects in Africa and has an edible hedgerow in her London garden which makes particularly tasty crab apple jelly.
Amber joined in April 2012 as Project Manager for our Creating New Orchards programme. A trained orchard leader, she is proud of the five trees planted on her estate and thinks 'Saturn' are the most delicious apples in the world. She enjoys bringing people together, and has eight years experience of working with community groups and local councils in her native London. She also co-manages a damson orchard in Cumbria and is interested in folklore about orchards and water.
Lewis is the Project Manager of our Rediscovering London's Lost Orchard Heritage programme. He also works for Learning through Landscapes where he's researched the history of local orchards, grafted heritage varieties, and designed new orchards within schools. Lewis has also worked as an environmental educator for RSPB and BTCV and is an environmental/social justice activist & involved in Transition Town groups. He completed his permaculture design course with Patrick Whitefield and is working to embed these principles into his work, along with his own food growing. A self-confessed chutney & cider-fiend he puts London's fruit bounty to good use in the kitchen.
Daniel Key and Merrin Layden are our Orchard Volunteer Officers.
Merrin joined the team in October 2012. An Australian who moved to London this year, Merrin has worked on community campaigns for national environment charities in Melbourne.She is a qualified horticulturalist with a passion for growing food and making fresh, healthy food available to urban communities.
Daniel joined the team in October 2012 as a London Orchard Volunteer Officer. After resigning from a short career in strategic digital advertising, he has developed the People's Kitchen Project, co-running weekly dinners at Passing Clouds in Dalston, whilst also supporting the setup of new community kitchens in Brixton, Finsbury Park and many more to follow. He is also involved with Global Action Plan, Building Man Festival and the Hackney Pound. When he's not trying to build community and sustainable solutions, he likes to watch Newcastle United on the telly.
Dan [at] thelondonorchardproject [dot] org
Merrin [at] thelondonorchardproject [dot] org
We have a senior sponsor and a group of trustees who bring inspiration, experience, expertise and creativity to the project.
Sara Parkin OBE is our senior champion for our Project. Sara was awarded an OBE in 2001, for her services to education and sustainable development.
Hywel Lloyd and Carina Millstone are joint chairs of our trustee board.
Carina's background is in sustainability consultancy, but she has also been active in a number of community projects and environmental campaigns over the years. Since moving to the East Coast (USA, not Essex) in late 2011, she has worked for the New Economics Institute and is currently writing a book on organisations in a steady-state economy.
Hywel works in the fuzzy space between public policy and its delivery, helping improve policies while getting things done. He got involved with LOP as a keen orchard planting volunteer who also happened to be Hilary Benn's Specialist Advisor at Defra.
Danny Chivers is an award winning slam poet, leading climate change activist, New Statesman contributor and all round climate change guru, author of the No Nonsense Guide to Climate Change.
Rowena Ganguli co-founded the Project, and has since worked for Fairfood International and is now one of Innocent's fruit buyers.
We work with a team of experts, who support our work, provide guidance and help make sure our orchards get the care they deserve.
Russell Miller is a trained arboriculturalist, with plenty of letters by his name, and has planted orchards in his home borough of Hackney for the last decade with his group the Tree Musketeers.
Bob Lever, orchard expert and member of the East of England Apples and Orchards Project is a fountain on knowledge for orchard restoration and apple identification.
Wade Muggleton is the Countryside Officer for Worcestershire County Council and star of the permaculture world, who specialises on planting in trained forms to make the most of small spaces.
Chris Wedge is an expert on orchard establishment and management and author of Natural England's technical guidance notes on the subject.
We have trained and supported around 140 ‘Orchard Leaders’ from our partner community groups. Our Orchard Leaders are responsible for the implementation of the orchard management plan developed with us. They are therefore critical to the success of the community orchards, so thank you all for your hard work and keep it up!
A number of organisations and individuals have provided us with their creative expertise for free. A huge thank you to:
Watch him sing at the planting of Green Gate Orchard here