apples growing in tree

Job – Voluntary Orchard Manager

Friends of Bourne Wood: Voluntary Orchard Manager

The Friends of Bourne Wood (FOBW) established a community orchard on land adjacent to Bourne Wood in 2012. The orchard is now fully planted with a diverse mixture of fruit trees, many of which are sponsored by local people or organisations. The varieties planted range from old local ones to well-known varieties. A bed of raspberries has also been included, as an extra interest. A wildlife pond has recently been commenced.

The day to day management of the orchard is managed by volunteers ultimately overseen by the committee of FOBW the latter which includes representatives of the Forestry Commission (FC) from whom the land is leased. Weekly work parties take place between 10 and 12 noon on most Saturdays.

The Friends are now seeking a voluntary orchard manager whose overall role will be to:

Work closely with the community orchard volunteers, FOBW and FC to deliver the objectives of the orchard management plan

More specifically the role will entail:

  • Undertaking the key tasks and meeting the targets from the management plan which include:
  • Complete the pond and ensure it is fenced
  • Ensure the fruit trees are pruned annually and the bases are kept free of vegetation
  • Ensure the paths and orchard are mown according to the stipulated frequency
  • Undertake regular checks of the benches, picnic tables and noticeboard and arrange for repairs and wood preservation, as necessary
  • Organise and plan the weekly work parties and provide management and supervision for the volunteers
  • Ensure that the necessary tools and consumables are available
  • Where necessary, liaise with and organise any third-party work parties
  • Establish an orchard working group (a sub-committee of the main FOBW committee)
  • Revise the orchard management plan in liaison with FC and the FOBW Committees
  • Attend the FOBW committee meetings and provide progress reports


  • The post holder will have delegated authority from the FOBW committee to organise and direct the work parties and establish an orchard working group sub-committee
  • ·The revised orchard management plan will need to be signed off by the FOBW committee including FC
  • Any proposed expenditure for purchase of equipment and tools will need to be agreed in advance by the FOBW Committee

Time commitment

  • Estimating the time commitment for this new role is difficult but it is anticipated that the time input will be an annual average of around 3-4 hours a week.

Key skills required

  • Strong communication and organisational skills. Familiar with networking with voluntary and statutory organisations and volunteers with a range of skills

Diplomacy skills

  • Some understanding of horticulture (fruit trees) is desirable but not essential

Please send an expression of interest to including a brief statement of suitability for the post by the 2nd November 2017.