"Shining Orchard After Rain"

The Orchard Art Anthem

The words for this song were crafted by poet and composer Helena Cavan with school children attending the three schools in Herefordshire catering specifically for the needs of children with learning disabilities.  The song draws on their words and experiences when visiting orchards in Herefordshire.  First written in 2014, a new verse was added in 2016 when children at Blackmarston School went searching for insects in an orchard in Breinton......

  • Click here to listen to the song
  • Click here to view the words for the song
  • Click here to view the music score for the song


Orchard Art has allowed people with learning disabilities time in the Herefordshire countryside, and their behaviour has been seen to change by increasing their activity and social interaction. The evaluations of the project have proved to be an opening to discuss innovative approaches to health care with commissioners of services. Positive engagement with people with disabilities encourages others to think what we can learn from them - not overcomplicating what we do and living in the moment.


The engagement of people with learning disabilities with the wider community to showcase their achievements is inspirational for all involved and the findings from the evaluations are being used in the national promotion of land based therapies.


The project is delivered by working in partnership with organisations that offer care and support to people with learning disabilities or acquired head injuries, considering their needs and different skills.


Observed behaviour of the participants changes in an orchard, particularly improving interpersonal contact. Self-worth has improved for both participants and their families. The care programme of at least one of the participants was amended as a result of this project and involvement in the project contributed to another participant entering employment.