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Orchard Surveys

Traditional Orchard Inventory and the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species

The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species has produced a map of the traditional orchard habitat across England. This invaluable work has now been extended to Wales, scheduled for completion in January 2013. The information held in the inventory will continue to be updated for the foreseeable future and the PTES will provide a national point of contact for enquiries related to the habitat. A separate dataset of orchards marginal to the Habitat Action Plan is also available only from the PTES. These ‘non-TO’ sites include relicts of less than five trees, long abandoned sites, and organic or abandoned ‘modern’ orchards, the biodiversity value of which has yet to be fully established (call for undergrad/postgrad students!).

Anita Burrough managed the English project, with Steve Oram on the technical and mapping aspects. Steve (steve.oram@ptes.org) is coordinating the projects during Anita’s maternity absence.

Accessing the dataset and relevant documentation

The easiest way to view the datasets is through a Google Map on the PTES website which provides an excellent visual overview. The full inventory complements other habitat inventories and is available to download as a GIS layer through the Natural England website (requires registration) or via MAGIC (select ‘Interactive Map’, then in the Step one drop-down box select ‘Habitat Inventories’. Once the map is open, the traditional orchards are bordered in RED).

Traditional orchards are a fantastic habitat for wildlife and can host up to 1800 species of plants and animals. A booklet entitled "Traditional Orchards, a guide to wildlife and management" is available from Ann Smith (Gloucestershire Orchard Trust) or the PTES, as well as factsheets for the rare noble chafer beetle, which has a stronghold in Gloucestershire, and mistletoe marble moth among others, and Orchard Survey forms for distribution. Natural England has published a set of Technical Information Notes including subjects such as pruning, wildlife, and establishing an orchard.

A full project report is available from Natural England (NECR077 – see links below), and a summary report is available for each county along with the most recent PTES newsletter and a set of FAQs for the project (below).

On-going surveys

The Gloucestershire Orchard Trust has already assisted extensively with orchard surveys in Gloucestershire, but we are still recruiting volunteers to ground-truth as many orchards in England as possible. Please contact Lauren.alexander@ptes.org for more information -there’s plenty left to do!

For orchard surveys involving identification of the varieties of fruit, please visit the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust Identification page.

If you know of an orchard (managed with low intensity methods) or are fortunate enough to own one, please do request an Orchard Survey form by contacting Gloucestershire Orchard Trust coordinator Ann Smith on info@gloucestershireorchardgroup.org.uk or tel 01452 855677 or contact the PTES.


Initial analysis was carried out via a desk study of aerial images and OS maps, and collating local knowledge including that of orchard groups across the UK. The results were then ground-truthed with the invaluable help of local volunteer surveyors and, where possible, surveyed more thoroughly and omitted orchards added. With the results of a ground-truthing survey we were able to make a condition assessment the surveyed orchards.

Access data

  • Google Maps – easy to access overview of the inventories (point data only)
  • NE GIS downloads - MapInfo, Arcview and Excel formats included
  • MAGIC – web-based access to the England inventory (polygon data)

GOT website

PTES website


People's Trust for Endangered Species, 3 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG

Tel: 020 7498 4533 Fax: 020 7498 4459

Reg. charity no. 274206

V10 • Created: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:15 pm • Modified: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:32 am • Views: 50073