Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Fairfield Orchard History

The Fairfield Association created the Orchard in 1999-2000. It was one of 250 millennium greens created across the country to mark the beginning of the new millennium. This explains the rather long name. Our main funder (they gave us around £37,500 and helped us with advice and other support) was Millennium Greens. Millennium Greens was funded by the National Lottery and administered by The Countryside Agency.

Who else helped to create Fairfield Orchard?

The Orchard was created by Fairfield Association volunteers. Help also came from Years 12 and 13 students from Lancaster Royal Grammar School as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, the local Probation Service, who organised teams of young offenders, and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) who provided help and training.

Who contributed the funding to create the Orchard?

The biggest contributor was Millennium Greens, but Lancaster City Council was also extremely generous. The Council kindly provided the land, which is leased to us for 999 years at £1 a year, and gave us financial support (through their ‘Million for the Millennium’ initiative). The leader of the Council at that time (Stanley Henig) was very supportive personally, helping us to negotiate the original proposal with Millennium Greens.

We also received funding from Bass Charrington, BTCV, Lancaster BTCV, the Royal Botanical & Horticultural Society of Manchester and the Northern Counties and the Ramblers Association, as well as personal donations from local people.

Management plan

The original management plan for the Orchard was created in 2000 and it has been revised several times since then. In 2009-10 our ecologist adviser, Graeme Skelcher, with the help of specialist colleagues, carried out a comprehensive wildlife survey for us, including birds, plants and invertebrates.

In 2011, Natural England approved the Orchard for inclusion in the Fairfield Association’s Higher Level Stewardship Grant, which also covers Fauna. This gave us access to specialist advice on future management, and also provided a small annual grant towards the running costs.

Following this approval and building on the new survey, Graeme drafted a new management plan for us in 2011, with particular emphasis on the increasing wildlife value of the Orchard. The report can be downloaded Fairfield Orchard Management Plan (PDF 35K).


We aim to enhance the wildlife value of the Orchard as much as possible while retaining the Orchard’s value as a source of fruit and nuts and a recreational space for the community.