David Thorpe

The Orchard

Artist David Thorpe was invited to contribute to the physical fabric of Hengrove in order to create a long-term legacy for the project.

His community orchard was planted on Whitchurch Village Green, Hengrove in November 2015. It is made up of fruit and nut trees and takes the shape of a cathedral, complete with nave, transept and apse. Planted by local children and residents of Hengrove, the orchard is designed to be a communal meeting place and stems from Thorpe's interest in utopian English traditions, with particular reference to the work of William Morris. 

The commission was launched by George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, and Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs and is part of Bristol City Council's One Tree One Child project. It will take 8-10 years to grow to full maturity.

The project will provide:

  • A beautiful natural structure on Oatlands Avenue
  • An abundance of free fruits and nuts for the community
  • A meeting place for the community
  • A unique site for harvest/spring festivals and other events
  • Training opportunities in the planting and maintenance of fruit trees
  • Engagement opportunities around healthy eating and community growing
  • An organic growing legacy for all to engage with, use and share

Organisations involved:

Members of Elmtree Residents Association, Tree Bristol, Horticulture Department, Skills Academy, Tree Pips, Parks Department Bristol City Council.

Orchard Engagement Programme for 2017:

The Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard Engagement Programme is a one year programme produced by Jane Porter and has been designed to raise awareness of the orchard with the Hengrove community but also to engage the wider Bristol public through exciting projects that take place on site as well as at arts venues across the city.

The programme consists of four commissions, alongside events, trips, talks and workshops, that will see artists and writers engaged to develop projects in direct response to the orchard with a key aim of engaging Hengrove residents and the wider public in the community orchard and associated themes.

Keep an eye on the Get Involved section of the website or sign up to the e-newsletter to find out more about the artists and events, get news and updates and details of the project as they develop.

Future Perfect is commissioned by Bristol City Council and is the first public art programme to be funded through a Neighbourhood Partnership in which governance is extended to members of the Hengrove community. Contact   Legal