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Project information

Lithos Road Community Orchard

A community orchard has got to be the best way to turn a neglected and under-utilised green space into a biodiverse, wildlife friendly and carbon mitigating community space that not only provides food and shelter for wildlife but will also feed us and clean our environment for generations to come.

January 2012 - March 2012

Charity information: BTCV

BTCV logo
  • Need


    The area is a communal green space on a deprived housing estate which has been misused and neglected. Frequent anti-social behaviour around the open space has created tension and conflict within the community. This is mainly because it's function and use does not currently representative the whole communities needs, and the current soil quality is poor and cannot sustain larger scale planting which has impacted on past planting schemes


    The project will solve these contentious issues by involving the community in creating their own space that has already been designed by the people and for the people. The space will be built by the community and managed by young, old and families alike for recreation, learning and to develop a more resilient and cohesive community. The site will be developed to build up the soil level to sustain the new orchard, with every barrow loaded onto site by hand and by the people.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Design a green space for all through the planning for real consultation process


    » Run a consultation event using planning for real to map ideas and bring these together (completed)
    » Volunteers from community to develop a design for their green space (completed)

    What success will look like

    Success will be to get 30 residents involved in the consutation and approval for the design the community created for their orchard from the community and the housing association.

    Aim 2

    BTCV to support the community to create their orchard


    » Raising the soil level, building supporting structure and securing the space.
    » Planting fruiting trees, shrubs and building seating areas and nature trails
    » Local customisation led by the young people with engravings, interpretation and signage

    What success will look like

    Success will be involving 30 residents and 30 volunteers from the local community, donating collectively 1000 hours to develop the orchard over a 3month development

    Aim 3

    Develop new community group through BTCV's Community Network


    » Develop a BTCV community group with a constitution and agreement that will manage the space with the support of BTCV and the local housing association

    What success will look like

    Success will be establishing a group with minimum 5 members to maintain the orchard, creating a framework agreement and becoming part of BTCV's Community network

  • Impact


    If the space is better designed and better used by the community the antisocial use of the space will decrease. The area will be a great place for the community to come together and join in communal activities. The process of designing and planting a community orchard together will enhances the sense of community and as is so often the case when this is successful, this will be the catalyst for further community-led improvements and activity such as food growing.


    Risks would be not consulting the local residents and community and all users of the space, contaminated soil that would mean the produce would not be edible, the group would not take responsibility to maintain the space, the space would be vandalised.
    We have checked the soil, consulted with all residents in the open space and through other regular forums will continue to establish a group and encourage ownership of the green space through participation in every stage.


    Through 2 reports mid-way and on completion of the project, and more regularly through social media, online and through video blogs with volunteer leaders from BTCV, local residents who get involved etc.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,926

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,875 Project leadership BTCV leading 15 full-day practical sessions
      £2,000 Materials - Top Soil 50m3 topsoil/compost mix
      £4,197 Materials - Other Railway sleepers, fencing, seating
      £1,000 Materials - Plants Fruiting Trees and Shrubs
      £1,200 Art workshop 6 design sessions with kids to engrave fences, paint and create bespoke and customised designs
      £2,654 VAT 20% VAT

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Circle 33 Housing association £4,432 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The main beneficiaries are the residents of the Lithos Rd Estate, which is house to 180 households, estimated 400 individuals. Lithos Road is near the busy Kilburn High Road and has had a lot of problems with anti-social behaviour in an area that has poor access to green space.


    The estate has a higher than normal level of ethnic diversity, as some of the landlords involved have been predominantly working with black and minority ethnic groups. There are many families living on the estate, with a large number of children and young people, the largest numbers being the 8-12 age group. Over 50% of the households are low income, and depend on some form of income related benefits. A full breakdown of demographics can be provided if necessary.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    BTCV has over 50 years experience of inspiring people and improving green spaces. BTCV work locally in Camden with over 600 volunteers from the community donating over 10'000 hours of their time to an average of 150 practical events, in the borough of Camden alone, every year. BTCV staff and volunteers have been working with Lithos Road for almost a year to meet with residents and plan consutation session to develop this project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Speirs - Camden Project Officer

    Chris Speirs works with the local community to develop and facilitate projects that will improve green spaces and the local environment for all.

Illustration of orchard by volunteer

Illustration of orchard by volunteer


will pay for one apple tree