Orchard Design: Survey #1 – Little Beginnings

Engrossed on floor #permaculture #design

A post shared by Rich Denyer-Bewick (@therichdb) on

So, it’s starting to take shape… the design that is.

And, I’ve moved the goalposts again having decided to change from just a design which was more about peoplecare and community engagement to actually doing the full design for an orchard. I think it’s do-able. And more aspirational. And a bit more risky – outside my comfort zone. Much more able to get ecological application into the full design.

What I’d come up with before was:

To design a consultation process that involves all the key people who will and could be affected by or use the field space once it is brought back into use, with the purpose of developing a harmonious community surrounding and using the field.

What I’ve now moved to is this:

To design a small orchard that brings a piece of unused agricultural land back into use, with the purpose of obtaining a yield of local variety Sussex apples and developing harmonious communities, surrounding and using the space.

I’m happier with that.

So, stage 1 is SURVEY and this is Post #1 of evidence around my survey. It starts with a site visit to the field in question which is the site where the orchard will be planted. Here it is as it looked today:


Well, that’s the corner, anyway. And a willow tree we transplanted a couple of years ago, that unfortunately is looking a little worse for wear (note to self – ask for some advice on that from BPT Stephan).

Here’s a few more shot of the field, taken from different points. The purpose of this was to look at sight lines – who can see the field from their residence? Who ‘sees’ the space on a regular basis?

Now, there were quite a few shots I had of the field in different seasons which also form part of the survey – check these out, mainly taken April to July 2011:

Further Survey work has included drawing up a Basemap, which I first practiced following on from what we learned on Day 2. This time, I found it a bit easier:


This first one is taken from Google Maps (not the most permaculture of companies I admit…), which gave me a start on the design. I took the measurements from this, which had a scale on it from Google, and translated into millimetres. Then I re-worked the scale to make the size of my basemap a bit bigger to more fill an A4 piece of paper…


…and used the tools my lovely Mrs bought me to work up this basemap on the graph paper (which also really helped).

More survey work to follow!


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