Our Trees

The orchard was planted in 2008 – 2009, and is now pretty mature. Due to the soil conditions and the choice of rootstock at the outset, our trees are very small, compared with those you may see in other local community orchards.  The apple trees are a collection of those varieties that originate in Cambridgeshire, along with a Bramley, planted for its centenary. There are numerous types of trees, both fruiting and in the hedgerow, details of which are below.

Dessert Apples

Lord Peckover pre 1926 Pick Aug, Use Aug
Arose at Peckover House gardens in Wisbech. Red flushed and can be large in size. Skin has a peach-like white bloom. A very early dessert variety, best eaten in August.
Lady Hollendale pre 1920 Pick Aug, Use Aug
Probably arose in the Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire or Norfolk Fens since it was being grown for the Wisbech fruit markets in the 1920-30s. An early season crisp and juicy red apple, best picked and eaten in August.
St. Everard pre 1900 Pick early Sept, Use Sept
An early dessert apple bred at Papworth Everard Hall gardens by crossing the varieties Margil and Cox’s Orange Pippin. Small to medium in size. Distinctly flushed dark red with an aromatic taste.
Wayside 1930 Pick late Sept, Use Oct – Nov
A seedling of the variety Charles Ross. Raised by Miss Cunningham of ‘Wayside’, Huntington Road, Cambridge. Distinctive fruity-tasting crisp flesh.
Histon Favourite mid 1800s Pick late Sept, Use Oct – Dec
Raised by John Chivers of Histon. Pale yellow skinned with a scattering of pink stripes. Sharp and crisp flavour when picked, mellowing with storage.
Thoday’s Quarrenden 1949 Pick early Oct, Use Nov – Feb
Discovered growing at Willingham by nurseryman Mr. Ralph Thoday. It is probably a seedling of the dessert variety Devonshire Quarrenden. Small sized. Bright red skinned. It will keep until February.
Chiver’s Delight c.1920 Pick mid Oct, Use Nov – Jan
Raised by Stephen Chivers of Histon. A medium to large sized dull green skinned apple that is occasionally flushed golden brown. Aromatic and crisp flesh.
Cockett’s Red pre 1910 Pick mid Oct, Use Nov – Jan/Feb
A long keeping small red flushed variety that once grew mainly in the Wisbech area. Known in the past as Marguerite Henrietta and locally as ‘One Bite’. Very sharp when first picked but mellows after storage.
Barnack Beauty c.1840 Pick mid Oct, Use Dec – Mar
A long keeping eating apple raised at Barnack. Received RHS awards in 1899 and 1909. Medium sized and slightly oblong with an eye catching orange brown flush. Attractive blossom. A sweet and complex tasting apple. Has good resistance to scab.
New Rock Pippin 1821 Pick mid Oct, Use Jan – Mar/May
Raised by William Pleasance in the Barnwell area of Cambridge and first exhibited in 1821. A spice-like flavour coupled with excellent keeping qualities.
Lord Burghley 1834 Pick end Oct, Use Jan – Apr
Found growing as a seedling tree at Burghley House. Rescued by the Head Gardener and first sold by a Peterborough nurseryman. It became a popular gardeners’ choice. Received an RHS award in 1865 for its long keeping qualities. Sweet tasting. It will keep until April.

Culinary apples

Red Victoria 1884 Pick Aug, Use Aug
An early season sharp cooking apple best picked and used in August. It was found growing near Wisbech and introduced by Messrs. Miller of Wisbech in 1908. Resembles a ripe tomato in appearance when ready to pick.
Jolly Miller 1883 Pick late Sept, Use Sept – Oct
Once popular in the Cottenham area. Possiibly named after the village Public House of the same name where fruit was once traded. A medium sized tall apple with a greasy yellow skin, reddish flush and broken red stripes.
Murfitt’s Seedling 1883 Pick mid Oct, Use Oct – Dec/Jan
Once popular in the Cottenham and Histon areas, so probably arose in Cambridgeshire. Large and angular with a dull green coloured skin. Holds shape well when cooked and needs virtually no sugar.
Cottenham Seedling 1923 Pick mid Oct, Use Nov – Mar
Raised by Robert Norman of Cottenham. The variety Dumelow’s Seedling is one of its parents. A long keeping cooking apple once popular with gardeners and commercial growers around Cambridge. Has a delicate pale yellow and slightly greasy skin.
Morley’s Seedling pre 1928 Pick mid Oct, Use Nov – Jan/Mar
A late keeping apple raised by Charles Morley of Fordham by crossing the varieties Alfriston and Lane’s Prince Albert. Can be large in size, with a green coloured skin and occasionally a dull brown flush. Keeps shape well when cooked.

Dual purpose apples

Huntington Codlin 1883 Pick early Sept, Use Sept – Oct/Nov  
Introduced by nurseryman Wood and Ingram of Huntingdon. Pale yellow skinned with a few red stripes. Soft and juicy cream coloured flesh. Not very acidic and will cook to a frothy puree.
Green Harvey 1813 Pick late Oct, Use Dec – Feb/Apr
A long keeping green skinned variety. The sample in the National Fruit Collection was received from Cambridgeshire in 1930. Course fleshed so keeps shape quite well when cooked and needing little sugar.


Willingham Gage 1800s Pick mid Aug, Use Aug – Sep
Arose at Willingham, probably as a seedling of a Green Gage. Selected by the RHS for its good cropping and excellent fruit quality. Similar in appearance but larger than Green Gage. Sweet and juicy to taste.
Cambridge Gage 1800s Pick late Aug, Use Aug-Sep
A greenish yellow skinned gage that is probably a seedling of the Green Gage. Larger in size and better cropping than Green Gage. Soft and juicy flesh. Extremely sweet to taste.

Other Fruit Trees

Crab apples (John Downie and Golden Hornet)


Hedgerows are a man made habitat that have been used for hundreds of years and are an integral part of the British landscape.
A well-kept hedgerow provides a varied habitat for a diverse population of plants and animals, adapted to take advantage of this niche ecosystem.
Hedges are important reservoirs for our native species.
Old established hedges are vital to provide pathways for wildlife, food for native birds and insects and habitat for wildflowers. They also keep out livestock and deer.
On the orchard we have a native mixed hedgerow, with all these species in it:
Hawthorn (Quickthorn)
Blackthorn (Sloe)
Dog Rose
Field Maple
Sweet Briar
Geulder Rose
Wayfaring Tree
Native Privet
Elm (kept small this will not succumb to Dutch Elm disease)
Holly (mostly female for fruit)
Hazel and Cobnuts (which will be planted at the narrow end of the plot, as the allotment-holders of this plot will be growing hazel to coppice)
Malus Sylvestris (wild crab apple, a food source loved by thrushes)
Quince tree

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