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Orchard And Jubilee Nuttery


Northiam Conservation Society’s orchard was officially opened on 5th June 2022. The site is a former cherry orchard and one of the original trees is still standing. We have planted 60 new fruit trees in the orchard, including several rare and heritage varieties with a connection to Sussex.  Many of them were grafted specially for us at Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection. 

At the very top end of this field, we have also planted the Northiam Conservation Society Jubilee Nuttery to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth ll in 2022. Here, you will find almond and Kentish cobnut trees.

In between the orchard and the nuttery are rows of cider apple trees, marking the area where a wildflower verge experiment was carried out from 2020 to 2022.

Surrounding the orchard is a hedge of native species selected to encourage pollinators and provide food and habitat for birds, small mammals and insects.


You are welcome to walk around or picnic in the orchard at any time. Please care for the orchard as much as we do, take home your litter, pick up dog mess, and of course please do not climb on the trees or light fires or barbecues!

With grateful thanks to John and Patrick, who generously donated the orchard trees and the chestnut gates; to those who have dedicated individual trees; to Prior & Sons, who are looking after the trees on behalf of the Society; to Rother District Council for a Platinum Jubilee grant towards the picnic benches and this information board – and of course to all the Conservation Society members, whose subscriptions help to pay for the upkeep of the orchard as well as many other projects around the village.

Fruit Trees In The Orchard

Orchard page - Orchard from bottom.JPG

All the trees are labelled – read on to find out more about each variety. We will be adding photos of each tree as we go through the seasons. (If you take any good photos of them yourself and you'd be happy for us to use them, please email us at


Almond: Robijn

A Dutch variety of almond with pink blossom, producing soft-shelled, very sweet-tasting nuts. It is a later variety than most and partially resistant to frost. Use: eating and cooking


Apple: Bloody Ploughman

First recorded in 1883. Fruits have crisp, tender flesh with acid-sweet flavour. Pick: September. Use: eating


Apple: Cox’s Orange Pippin

Raised in about 1825, it received a First Class Certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1962. Fruits are juicy and sweet with a rich, aromatic, nutty flavour. Pick: September-October. Use: eating.


Apple: Forge

Thought to have originated in the 1800s either at a Forge Farm in Sussex or near one of the old forges in the iron district near East Grinstead, Sussex. Fruits have crisp, very juicy flesh with a pleasant aromatic flavour. Pick: September. Use: eating and cooking


Apple: Granny Smith

Raised by a Mrs Thomas Smith in New South Wales, Australia, who was born in Peasmarsh, Sussex in 1800. Fruits have firm, course-textured, juicy flesh with a sharp and refreshing flavour. Pick: September. Use: eating


Apple: James Grieve

Raised by James Grieve. Fruits have soft but very juicy flesh with a good refreshing flavour. Pick: October. Use: eating and cooking.


Apple: Lady Sudeley

Raised in about 1849 by a cottager called Jacob at Petworth, Sussex and first sold in 1885 by G. Bunyard & Co, Maidstone, Kent. It received an Award of Merit from the RHS in 1884. Fruits have firm, juicy flesh with a good, sharp flavour. Pick September. Use: eating


Apple: Sops in Wine

A great all-round apple variety with dark red fruit and pink-stained flesh. The blossom is dark pink and very ornamental. Can be picked early to make a sweet cider, but also makes a juicy, soft and aromatic eating apple or can be treated as a cooking apple. Pick: August. Use: multi-purpose


Apple: Sussex Mother

Originated in Sussex, England. Described in 1884. Fruits have soft, tender, greenish white flesh distinctive flavour, sweet with a hint of aniseed Pick: September. Use: eating


Cider Apple: Ellis Bitter

A 19th century apple with medium-sized, red-flushed fruit. Produces a sweet, astringent juice and medium bittersweet cider. Pick: late September/early October


Cider Apple: Tremlett’s Bitter

A full bitter traditional cider apple dating to 1880. Pick: early to mid October


Cobnut: Webbs Prize Cobnut

Webbs Prize Cob (also known as The Lambert filbert) produces large, well-flavoured nuts and is an abundant cropper. A native deciduous English hazelnut that is quick and easy to grow and readily produces a reliable harvest of large clusters of tasty nuts. 'Webb's Prize Cob' is classed as a cobnut. By late winter, the catkins will be sending up clouds of yellow pollen and this is the best time to prune them so the pollen falls on to the small red female flowers. The time to harvest is when the ruffled jackets turn yellow. Try to pick them on a dry day when the husks are just turning yellow. Use: eating and cooking


Crab Apple: Butterball

Branches full of golden-coloured fruit each autumn. Pink-blushed white apple blossom in spring. Use: making crab apple jelly.


Crab Apple: John Downie

One of the best trees for making crab apple jelly. It has white flowers which open from pink buds. The apples are plum-like and very abundant. Use: making crab apple jelly


Crab apple: Neville Copeland

A pretty purple-leaved crab apple with light purple flowers followed by conical or rounded orange-red fruits in autumn and winter. Use: making crab apple jelly


Damson: Merryweather

Introduced in 1907, this is the most popular variety of damson for garden use.  Heavy crops of large round blue-black fruit which are acidic but juicy. Makes first class jams and chutneys. Self-fertile. Pick: August. Use: cooking and preserving


Damson: Seedling from the garden of Anne Dalleywater in Northiam. Use: cooking and preserving

Filbert: Kentish Cob

The true 'native' filbert. The large nuts are long and slightly flattened in shape and carried in generous clusters. Picked and eaten green their flavour is truly sublime - or for a real treat make cobnut pesto! Left to ripen, their sweetness really comes into its own - making for a lovely addition to the nut bowl or cakes and pastries. Use: eating and cooking


Elder (planted in the orchard hedges)

Elder grows very quickly and is adaptable to most soil conditions. Its fragrant white flowers are great for making cordials and providing a home for insects like aphids, ladybirds and moths. After this, the plant produces small berries which are loved by birds - and winemakers!


Greengage: Cambridge

Originated in 1927. A classic English gage very similar to the Old English gage but much easier to grow. Pick: August. Use: cooking and eating


Greengage: Denniston’s Superb

Introduced around 1790 by a Mr Denniston, this self-fertile greengage is a most reliable cropper. It has large, round, pale-green fruits produced in mid to late August. The sweet, transparent flesh has a typical gage-like flavour. Pick: late August. Use: eating


Greengage: Jefferson

Introduced to England in 1841. Fruits have moderately firm, very juicy flesh with a sweet and rich flavour. Pick: September. Use: eating


Medlar: Nottingham

The Nottingham medlar is the best known variety of medlar in the UK. Once picked, the fruits need to be stored in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 weeks until the flesh has become quite mushy. By this time, the fruit will have taken on a toffee-apple like flavour. Pick: late October. Use: cooking and eating


Mulberry: Black Mulberry

The Black Mulberry produces excellent fruit - like a giant blackberry but more purple-black in colour.  The fruit is really delicious but it's very delicate  - which is why you don’t usually see it in shops or supermarkets. The fruits will not appear until the Black Mulberry is about 7/9 years old (so in about 2027 for ours).  Take care when picking as the fruit will stain hands and clothes! Pick: mid to late summer. Use: cooking and eating


Pear: Beurre Hardy

Raised in about 1820.  A very tasty pear with juicy flesh and a slight rose water flavour.  Reliable and hardy, well suited to northern climates. Pick when still hard and store until ripe. Pick: late September. Store until: October. Use: eating


Pear: Clapp’s Favourite

One of the first pears to ripen each season, producing good crops of medium-sized yellow-green fruit flushed with red. The flesh is pale yellow and very juicy.  The tree often have a slightly drooping shape. Raised in 1860. Pick: August. Use: cooking and eating


Pear: Concorde

Raised in 1977 at East Malling Research Station, Maidstone, Kent. Similar to Conference but fruits have a better skin finish with less russet. Fruits have a sweet, aromatic flavour. Pick: late September. Use: eating


Pear: Conference

First exhibited at the National British Pear Conference of 1885, hence its name.  Probably the best all round pear for cultivation in the UK – reliable, heavy crops of well-flavoured juicy pears even in unfavourable seasons. The fruit are long and narrow, yellowish-green with plenty of ‘russeting’. Pick: September. Use: eating


Pear: Doyenne du Comice

The finest flavoured pear of all.  Raised in the 1840s and introduced into Britain in 1858. Very attractive pale green-yellow fruits with pinky-red flushing, the flesh is juicy and fine-textured with the most delicious flavour. It needs a warm and sheltered site to grow and crop well.  Pick: Late September. Use: eating


Pear: Fondante d’Automne

An old Flemish variety raised around 1825. Medium-sized fruit with slightly rough green skin that turns yellow when ripe, with some patches of russet-red. It has white, flesh, sweet with an excellent musky flavour. Pick: September. Use: eating


Plum: Victoria

It is probable that this famous variety was originally found as a chance seedling in a garden at Alderton, Sussex in the 1830s. A deep carmine rose colour with wonderful flavour, they make the best of jams. One of the best loved of all plum trees. Pick: August.  Use: cooking and eating


Quince: Meeches Prolific

Juicy, yellowish-white flesh with a highly aromatic, tart quality. Fruits keeps very well. A vigorous grower – and a favourite of Alan Titchmarsh, who grows it in his garden!  Pick: October. Use: cooking


Quince: Vranja

A popular quince which is very easy to grow. The fruit colour is greeny-yellow and the pink and white blossom is particularly beautiful. Pick: November. Use: cooking


Rowan (planted in the orchard hedges)

The Tree of Good Luck, the Rowan is said to ward off witches and goblins - in the past, most homes had a Rowan tree in their garden to protect them from mischief. An elegant tree with delicate green leaves bearing clusters of creamy white flowers in spring and bright red berries in autumn, loved by birds. The berries can be harvested for rowan jelly.

** You will see from the labels that some of the trees have been sponsored by residents, groups and Conservation Society supporters. If you’d like to sponsor a tree (for a one-off cost of £50), please email us at **

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