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Dispersed Urban Orchards #DUO

What is a Dispersed Urban Orchard 

ORCHARDS are little forest gardens where fruits and nuts grow on trees and bushes. Navan’s DISPERSED orchard involves our whole community! We are inviting people from across Navan to plant fruit trees in their gardens, and, with permission, to also advocate for planting more trees on their estate greens, parks, sport club grounds and other open areas in Navan. We are focusing our efforts on improving the connectivity of urban wildlife-friendly habitats - so that animals can safely move between food and shelter providing habitats. We want to  attract more pollinators to the area to pollinate the orchard tree flowers so they can turn into fruit! By planting trees in a dispersed way we hope to eventually create a bountiful food supply for bees, birds and other wildlife and help biodiversity throughout Navan. 

The Navan Dispersed URBAN Orchard is for everyone Navan town. You don't need a lot of space and trees can be chosen to suit the space available. Smaller varieties can even be grown in containers. If you'd like to get involved, get in touch today.  

Navan’s History of Orchards

In the not-so-distant past almost every estate and farm in Navan would have had an orchard. Growing fruit trees and bushes was common in urban gardens, too. As times changed, these orchards gave way to buildings, grass or other crops. Making jams, jellies, and preserves became a thing of the past as urban gardens became almost synonymous with short lawns. We want to embrace our local heritage by planting Blood of the Boyne apple trees and other heirloom varieties alongside our native Wild Cherry, Hazel, and Rowan.

The Navan#DUO project is supported by:
The Community Foundation for Ireland and
Municipal District Allocations of Meath County Council

How you can get involved

  • Rally your neighbours and Residents Association to sign up to Navan' Dispersed Urban Orchard Initiative

  • We are always growing the orchard by adding new estates to the Navan DUO. Let us know if you are ready to get involved.

  • Plant or gift a native/fruiting tree in Navan. Tell us where it's planted so we can add it to the Navan DUO connectivity map!

  • Help identify established orchards within Navan and potentially any old Irish varieties of apple. 

  • Help host a workshop on; growing and maintaining fruit trees; food preservation; juice making... 

  • Join us for one of our workshops. We host workshops at Solas Glan Community Gardens and would love to see you there. 

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The Benefits

Planting trees is a great action to combat the

biodiversity and climate change crisis. Navan’s trees

provide us with many ecological benefits:

  • Clean air from pollutants. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  • Improve soils, reduce erosion, minimise rain runoff and prevent flooding.

  • Support a rich and diverse range of wildlife with food and shelter for thousands of species (and humans, too!).

  • Provide important connectivity between wild areas in an urban setting.

  • Increase the value of our homes and make our town more attractive.

  • Improve our community, our health, and our wellbeing.


Simple actions to support biodiversity as you grow your trees: 

  • Leaving a small area around your tree un-mown. Mowing the grass will deplete nutrients in the soil as the plants will need to use more to regrow. Mowing can also damage trees.

  • Leaving “untidy” and wild areas - the kind that nature intended - to attract local wildlife like birds, hedgehogs and pollinators to our town. Bees love dandelion flowers, and birds love eating on their seeds!

  • Leaving some strips of long grass near the Dispersed Urban Orchard grow as “long-flowering meadows” (mown twice a year) or “short-flowering meadows” (mown every 6 weeks after a first cut in April): longer grass will allow wildflowers to bloom which will in turn attract pollinators to the area. Bumblebees love to shelter and overwinter in tussocks of long grasses!

  • Not using pesticides or herbicides. The areas around our trees can be mulched if the tree is young or left to grow long in the case of older trees: the wildflowers this will attract will look beautiful! (see photos)

  • Planting more pollinator-friendly and wildlife-friendly plants.

  • Providing safe habitats and passage for birds, hedgehogs, frogs, bats, and other fauna. Be mindful when you trim or strim, e.g. do not remove bigger bushes/trees/ivy during the bird nesting season, and check areas of longer grass for hedgehogs before strimming.

Each tree on this map represents 8-15 trees planted at each location as part of our #DUO between December 2021 and January 2023. The Navan DUO is made up of estate greens and private gardens throughout Navan.

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