If you are a community group or charity looking to plant trees this spring, then Thatchers Cider may be able to help.

The Somerset Cider maker's Community Orchard Project is being launched this week, with 250 apple trees to be donated to groups either undertaking new planting this year, or looking to extend a community orchard they already have.


Thatchers Community Orchard Project was first run in 2021, when it gave away 120 apple trees to community groups up and down the country. The family run cider maker is now doubling the number of apple trees it donates, meaning more groups will be able to benefit.

“In the year of the Queen's Green Canopy campaign, all eyes are on planting trees. It's so important to keep planting not just for the environment around us, but for people to enjoy and benefit from,” says Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cider maker. “We're taking part ourselves in the Queen's Green Canopy campaign, and we hope that getting involved in our Community Orchard Project will help encourage others to do the same.”

Thatchers is looking for groups, large or small, schools, care homes, communities, who would benefit from growing apple trees, to take part in this project, and is encouraging people to apply via its website.    

“Applications need to be received by 18 February 2022, and we're asking that those applying simply need to fill in a form on our website, telling us why planting trees would be beneficial for their community. Then we'll be allocating our 250 trees in time for them to be planted this spring,” continues Martin.

Thatchers has chosen the varieties of apple trees to be donated to the groups very carefully. Either eating apples, or cider apples, all are suited to easy growing, and are easy to take care of – varieties include Katy, Yarlington Mill and Spartan. Thatchers will provide stakes, guards and ties to assist in planting, as well as detailed instructions on how to plant a tree.

“Community spaces that include trees and orchards are so important for people's wellbeing,” says Martin. “Whether it's groups of trees within residential areas,  a rewilding project, or perhaps a school environmental project, we're really excited to be launching this initiative for the 2nd year and to be able to help people plant trees in 2022.”