Orchard groups, produce and services in the West Midlands

Herefordshire

Once described as a forest of fruit trees, Herefordshire is known for its cider and perry. Many farms still have their orchards, the main concentrations are in the area around Much Marcle, between Tenbury Wells and Bromyard, in valleys of the Severn and Avon and the Malvern Hills.

Herefordshire became the leading county for cider apple orcharding with the arrival of Lord Scudamore, who, in the 1600s, championed cider making in Herefordshire and especially his protege the Redstreak, a cider apple he found growing as a wilding and recognised its great potential. It became widely grown in the county and in Gloucestershire and Devon. Another popular cider apple was the Foxwhelp which is still used today.

By the 1800s, the cider industry was in decline in the county and Dr Robert Hogg was commisssioned to carry out an orchard survey. The result was the famous illustrated Herefordshire Pomona published between 1876-85 – which can be seen in the Cider Museum in Hereford. Hogg became known as the ‘father of British pomology’.

The Marcher Apple Network have produced a CD-ROM of the Herefordshire Pomona of 1885 which is for sale. They continue to research varieties of the Welsh Marches and surrounding counties.

There could be as many as 50 small cider producers in the county.

Herefordshire orchard groups

To find community orchards local to you, see our community orchard map

  • Colwall Orchard Group was founded in 2007, to carry out the first PTES survey of orchards in Colwall. Once we realised that our orchards were in such a poor state, we decided to train ourselves up to carry out rescue pruning and mistletoe management. We have been fortunate in getting a lot of support from the Malvern Hills AONB and various other grant aiding bodies. Over time we have worked in our local orchards, planted new fruit trees, and we now run orchard based events such as a Blossom Picnic, a Mistletoe Fair, Apple Day and a Wassail, to celebrate orchards and persuade others to care about their fate. By 2010 we decided we wanted our own orchard, so in 2011 we managed to buy a former orchard, now known as Colwall Village Garden.

  • Lugg’s Mill Orchard was Colwall Orchard Group’s second site acquisition, purchased in 2016. The 2.5 acre site is also located in Old Church Road, Colwall – a short walk from our main land at Colwall Village Garden. This attractive piece of land was the site of a former water- powered corn mill in the 19th century, and the stream that previously supplied the mill with water dissects the site in two. We have planted up the site with a new cherry orchard to one half and a new apple orchard in the other half, with over 100 trees present overall. In addition we’ve recently planted a new mixed native species hedgerow and are working on improving access to and within the site for the benefit of all. You are welcome to walk around the land and a public footpath crosses the site. Parking is on a layby by the entrance to the site on Old Church Road.

  • Colwall Village Garden, which combines our village allotments with a community orchard. Since then we have replanted the orchard and restored the Apple Packing Shed to form a base for our activities. We are currently the ‘Herefordshire Hub’ for the Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project and are working to support other communities in the county in looking after their orchards.

  • Marcher Apple Network (MAN) -Rhwydwaith Afalau’r Gororau – is involved in the preservation of old varieties, helping members and the public with orcharding matters and attending many agricultural shows during the autumn providing an identification service. Provides an extensive library service, runs courses and lists of local events. MAN has published the Herefordshire Pomona and the Welsh Marches Pomona. A CD is available giving almost 400 descriptions of cider apples and perry pears.

  • Orchard Origins and Orchard Origins blog – a social enterprise that is committed to preserving traditional orchards and their rich biodiversity. With sensitive management, our aim is to help these important wildlife habitats survive and thrive. Wholly owned by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, launched in 2012 with help from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme. Orchard Origins offers a range of fruit tree pruning services and orchard assessment. We specialise in orchards that balance fruit production with supporting wildlife. Pruning is undertaken by staff on an hourly or daily basis, either with or without volunteers. All work is supervised. We want to pass on our skills to others. Friends and family are always welcome to join us so that we can share the whys and hows of what we do. All the income from our pruning services goes toward supporting the environmental and social goals of Orchard Origins.

  • Three Counties Cider and Perry Association – The Three Counties Cider and Perry Association is the organisation which represents, supports and promotes the interests of craft scale cider and perry producers, primarily based in the Three Counties region of the UK (Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire). This region has a rich heritage of cider & perry making, and has more orchards than anywhere else in the UK.  We provide a friendly and educational platform for new or existing cider makers to learn more about technical, commercial and legislational aspects of the cider industry.

  • Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project (TCTOP) – The Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project aims to restore 25 traditional orchards in key orchard areas in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and by involving the owners and local people in the restoration, ensure that the skills and knowledge needed stay in the community. A Heritage Lottery Funded Project has meant that work is being carried out on: Gorsley, Kilcot and Longney in Gloucestershire; Whitbourne, Breinton and Ross on Wye in Herefordshire; and Rochford & Tenbury, Evesham, Pershore and Alfrick in Worcestershire.

Where to buy trees in Herefordshire

  • Ashgrove Farm Cider produce traditional cider from own cider apple orchards which are of standard trees, organic, and managed under Environmental Stewardship. Also produce Orchard Bee, a cider with honey. Ashgrove Farm, Marden, Hereford HR1 3EY. 01568 797 867

  • HP Bulmer Ltd – The largest cider maker, producing brands such as Strongbow and Woodpecker as well as traditional ciders. Products widely available in shops, pubs and restaurants.

  • Tom the Apple Man – Tom Adams grows a range of heritage varieties traditionally grown along the English/Welsh borderland, from Cheshire down to Gloucestershire, plus other varieties that show resistance to scab and canker that grow well in the English/Welsh borders region. Trees are grown without the use of chemicals and natural methods of pest control. The nursery is full of wild flowers and herbs that attract predatory insects and birds such as blue tits that feed on aphids. A grafting service is available.

  • Once upon A Tree & Dragon Orchard – Dragon Orchard is a small traditional fruit farm that has been tended by the Stanier family for nearly 90 years. They have been innovative in championing local food and over the past few years have helped bridge the gap between producers and consumers with the Cropsharers and Sponsor A Tree scheme. They own and run the Three Counties Cider Shop in Ledbury, offering cider and perry from a whole range of local cider makers, with many available for tasting.

  • Dunkertons Organic Cider -Use traditional varieties of organic cider apples and pears grown in their own orchards. Each variety of cider apple is picked, pressed and fermented separately, then stored for at least a year before being hand blended. Some cider blends may use up to 10 different varieties of apple. To make perry they use traditional pear varieties such as Moorcroft, Thorn, Merrylegs, and Brandy.

  • Gregg’s Pit Cider & Perry – Small scale producer of craft perry and cider. Much Marcle HR8 2NL. 01531 660687.

  • Gwatkin Cider  produces traditional farmhouse cider and perry draught and bottled, made in oak vats. Available from farm shop or online. Moorhampton Park Farm, Abbey Dore HR2 0AL. 01981 550258

  • Henney’s Cider Co. Produce Frome Valley Sweet and Dry Cider and England’s Pride Medium from cider apples usually a selection of Dabinett, Ashton Bitter, Tremletts Bitter, Yarlington Mill and Micehlin. The fruit is sourced from traditional and bush orchards in Herefordshire. Widely available in shops.

  • The Hop Pocket Wine Company offer a wide range of wines, beers, ciders and spirits from the Three Counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire with over 80 wines from over 14 local vineyards, over 90 local ciders and perries throughout the season, and up to 100 real ales. There are locally produced cider brandies and liqueurs, fruit gins and vodkas, and a range of local apple and pear juices made from 100% fresh pressed fruit.

  • Jus – single blend apple juice from English grown apples. Grow many varieties of apples themselves and for the less common varieties used, source and use apples that are locally grown in Herefordshire. Available at events and via mail order online. Jus Apples, Aylton, Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK. HR8 2QH. Tel: 01531 670 749

  • The Nest, Little Verzons Fruit Farm – sell wide range of local produce including local ciders.

  • Newton Court Cider – Newton’s Cider is produced from organically grown standard trees at Newton, and their perry is made from perry pears in local orchards and gardens. Organic cider, Gasping Goose, now for sale. Available online, at Newton Court or various outlets. Newton Court, Leominster HR6 0PF. 01568 611721

  • Oliver’s Cider and Perry – Cider and perrys produced at the Oliver’s restored Perry & Cider House, using apples and pears from their own trees and from other local growers, all unsprayed trees. Unique single varietals and blends, fermented in wild yeasts and matured in aged oak barrels. Available bottled and draught. Online shop and available in a growing number of countries including Austria, Finland, Holland, Norway, Russia and USA . The Old Hop Kilns, Moorhouse Farm, Ocle Pychard. 01432 820569

  • Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Co. –  based at Broome Farm in Peterstow where cider and perry has been made since 1930. There are now over 100 varieties of apples and 30 varieties of perry pears growing on the farm. The cider and perry is produced purely and simply in the traditional way. Have a Cider Shop at The Yew Tree Inn at Peterstow and market cider, perry and apple juice online.

  • Westons Cider – Produce over 30 different ciders & perries from cloudy scrumpy through to organic, sparkling vintage. Widely available, you can buy direct, online, go on a cider mill tour and eat at the Scrumpy House Restaurant. Exports to over 40 countries. H. Weston & Sons, The Bounds, Much Marcle, HR8 2NQ. 01531 660233

Orchard services and produce in Herefordshire

  • a’Beckett’s Vineyard – The Langham Family Vineyard produces sparkling and still wines along with cider and apple juice. There is a 800 tree orchard comprising dessert, culinary, cider apples and perry pears. Trees are 20-60 years old and the orchards are organically managed. They run a community apple pressing scheme. On site shop and online shop. High Street, Littleton Panell, Devizes SN10 4EN. 01380 816669

  • The Cotswold Cider Company – Rory Souter makes cider using ‘vintage’ cider apple varieties from the local area. The Mill House, Coleshill, Swindon SN6 7PT. 07979 957136

  • My Apple Juice provide a community apple juicing service from their base at Warren Farm. Many people who have more apples than they want back as juice – kindly bring along their extra fruit anyway so it does not go to waste.  They then bottle, pasteurise and label – and sell on to people who would like locally grown, minimally processed & transported apple juice.  They also sell Elderflower cordial  from elderflowers collected within a 400 m radius. Warren Farm, Savernake Forest, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3BQ.

Other links

  • The Herefordshire Cider Route – is available from Herefordshire Tourism. You can also order a cider cycling route leaflet.

  • Cider Museum and King Offa Distillery – founded in 1973 to preserve the history of cider making. The extensive collection includes cider mills, presses, bottles, old photographs, watercolours, advertising memorabilia and a rare collection of English lead crystal cider flutes. Gift shop and tea room. 21 Ryelands Street, Hereford HR4 0LW. 01432 354207.

Shropshire

Shropshire is Damson Country.

The Drayton Fair (1850s to 1930s) was where baskets of damsons were sold for cotton and wool dying.

The National Damson Collection has been created in the gardens of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford, TF8 7DQ by the Shropshire branch of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens.

Shropshire orchard groups

To find community orchards local to you, see our community orchard map

  • Shropshire Apple Trust is a constituted community-trust, based in Coalbrookdale within Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. They work to raise awareness of the importance of traditional orchards with their associated wildlife and the threats posed to the richness of traditional apple culture by increasing reliance on a few modern cultivars. The Trust aims to help revive interest in local fruit trees, and give advice on orcharding and the practical use of the apple harvest to produce juices for drinking and conversion to products such as cider and cider vinegar. Has its own one-tonne traditional twin-screw apple press for hire or purchase. Organise an annual Apple Day.

  • Marcher Apple Network (MAN) -Rhwydwaith Afalau’r Gororau – is involved in the preservation of old varieties, helping members and the public with orcharding matters and attending many agricultural shows during the autumn providing an identification service. Provides an extensive library service, runs courses and lists of local events. MAN has published the Herefordshire Pomona and the Welsh Marches Pomona. A CD is available giving almost 400 descriptions of cider apples and perry pears.

  • Small Woods – vision is to see small woods in the UK valued for the many benefits they bring to a sustainable society, and to help achieve their better management to make the most of these benefits. They do this through:- Membership –  Sustainable woodlands – Training – Projects and consultancy. Courses and projects in Green Wood Centre. Based in Coalbrookdale but not specific to orchards.

 

Where to buy trees in Shropshire

  • Tom the Apple Man – Tom Adams grows a range of heritage varieties traditionally grown along the English/Welsh borderland, from Cheshire down to Gloucestershire, plus other varieties that show resistance to scab and canker that grow well in the English/Welsh borders region. Trees are grown without the use of chemicals and natural methods of pest control. The nursery is full of wild flowers and herbs that attract predatory insects and birds such as blue tits that feed on aphids. A grafting service is available.

  • Harley Nursery – offer a wide range of fruit trees including damson trees and soft fruit bushes throughout the year.

 

Where to buy orchard produce in Shropshire

  • The Cider House at Wootton Green, Quatt is a pub which sells 13 draught and bottled ciders and no beer. 01746 780285

  • Mahorall Farm Cider – Mahorall Farm Ciders are made using apples grown in local Shropshire orchards. Wild yeasts help to produce different tasting ciders depending on the season, type of yeast and apple varieties. Sold direct from the farm to both trade and public, through local outlets. Nash, Ludlow SY8 3AH. 01584 890296

  • The Local to Ludlow campaign promotes food and drink produced within 30 miles of the town. Lists markets, shops and restaurants.

 

Other links

  • The Shropshire Prune Damson is a celebration of damsons in general and the Shropshire Prune variety of damson in particular and includes recipes and events.

  • Apples of the Welsh Marches – This publication from MAN lists old varieties of apples cultivated in the traditional orchards of the West Midlands and the neighbouring parts of Wales. It includes dessert and culinary apples available for sale by nurseries, but excludes purely cider apples. There are alphabetical lists of ‘local’ apples, with a brief account of each variety, arranged by county or region where they are thought to have originated. Also listed are varieties extensively grown in the area in the past and still to be found in local farm orchards.

Warwickshire

Warwickshire orchard groups

To find community orchards local to you, see our community orchard map

  • Midshires Orchard Group – The Mid Shires Orchard Group aims to conserve and promote enjoyment and use of the local orchards and rich apple traditions of the four ‘mid-shires’ counties of Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

  • Who we are: We are a friendly community group, run by volunteers and administered by an elected committee. New members are welcomed! We value the enthusiasm, ideas and contributions that each one brings to the group and we enjoy learning from each other. In return, we offer support for a range of heritage fruit endeavours and aim to cover all topics of interest to our members. We also have a programme of social and educational events, held throughout the year.Our four main themes of seasonal celebration are: Winter Wassail, Springtime Scionwood Swap, Summer Field Trip and Autumn Apple Days. These popular events act as social focal points for our members and also serve to increase public awareness of top fruit heritage, promote related skills and give wider access to local and unusual varieties. In addition, they allow us to reach out to communities across our four counties, helping them develop, conserve, enjoy and make use of their heritage fruit trees, orchards and harvests.

    Email: MSOGChairman@yahoo.com

 

Where to buy trees in Warwickshire

 

Orchard services and produce in Warwickshire

This gazeteer is regularly updated. This section currently has no listings, please contact us if you have information to add.

 

Other links

  • Hill Close Victorian Gardens, Friars Street, Warwick. The Victorian gardens were once the refuge of town centre shopkeepers and professionals who lived over their business and had no garden around their home. They have left a legacy of delightful hedged plots with listed brick summerhouses and a collection of a hundred fruit trees: 50 varieties of apple and a dozen of pears.

  • Warwickshire College Group – Avonbank Juice. The food and drink unit at Pershore College is used to make apple juice and cider, provide contract bottling services and deliver specialist courses in processing and production.

  • Pershore Plum Festival – Orchards in this area produce tons of popular plums every year – Varieties such as Victoria, Majorie Seedling, Heron, Monarch, Pershore Purple, Pershore Yellow Egg Plum and Pershore Emblem are some of the most well known and sought after plums the Vale produces. Pershore and its association with the plum is not a new thing, the area has been famous for its fruit growing since medieval times. Early in the 19th century the Pershore Yellow Egg Plum was found growing wild in Tiddesley Wood and by 1870 records show that over 900 tons of the fruit were being sent to market during harvest time. At the Pershore Flower Show in 1920, a poster advertising the event described it as “The Largest Plum Show on Earth” and over ninety years later the town is striving to recreate this spectacle. To celebrate this famous fruit, Pershore holds a Plum Festival throughout the month of August, when the town will turn “plum crazy” and the grand finale of this festival will be the Plum Fayre and Farmers Market on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Worcestershire

According to the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust,


“… in Worcestershire, there are or have been, concentrations of orchards in the Teme Valley, a stronghold for cherries; in the Severn Vale and Vale of Evesham, for apples; and around the Wyre Forest for plums and cherries. Pears are a particular Worcestershire speciality. Pershore – ‘Pearshore’ – was the heart of the pear country. Few pear orchards survive today, although pear trees remain widespread in hedgerows. Worcester City has had many cultural associations with fruit trees and orchards. The city crest itself incorporates three black pears. Historically the city has been important for this fruit and also the pearmain.”

Worcestershire is perhaps most famous for its plums, Evesham Wonder, Pershore Yellow Egg and Purple Pershore and for its Black Worcester pear and perry pears.

Worcester City Council – has pears on its coat of arms and has given a Worcester Black Pear to each school for the children to plant. They have also made an ecological survey of all the orchards in the city which are in public ownership or which have access. Worcestershire County Council – have surveyed Traditional Orchards in selected parishes in the county

Worcestershire orchard groups

To find community orchards local to you, see our community orchard map

  • Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project (TCTOP) – The Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project aims to restore 25 traditional orchards in key orchard areas in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and by involving the owners and local people in the restoration, ensure that the skills and knowledge needed stay in the community. A Heritage Lottery Funded Project has meant that work is being carried out on: Gorsley, Kilcot and Longney in Gloucestershire; Whitbourne, Breinton and Ross on Wye in Herefordshire; and Rochford & Tenbury, Evesham, Pershore and Alfrick in Worcestershire.

 

  • Three Counties Cider and Perry Association – The Three Counties Cider and Perry Association is the organisation which represents, supports and promotes the interests of craft scale cider and perry producers, primarily based in the Three Counties region of the UK (Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire). This region has a rich heritage of cider & perry making, and has more orchards than anywhere else in the UK.  We provide a friendly and educational platform for new or existing cider makers to learn more about technical, commercial and legislational aspects of the cider industry.

 

Where to buy trees in Worcestershire

  • Walcot Organic Nursery – is an organic tree nursery selling a wide range of fruit trees on all kinds of rootstocks, plus trained trees. Also lots of varieties of apple, plum, pear and quinces. Lower Walcot Farm, Walcot Lane, Drakes Broughton, Pershore. 01386 553697

  • Tom the Apple Man – Tom Adams grows a range of heritage varieties traditionally grown along the English/Welsh borderland, from Cheshire down to Gloucestershire, plus other varieties that show resistance to scab and canker that grow well in the English/Welsh borders region. Trees are grown without the use of chemicals and natural methods of pest control. The nursery is full of wild flowers and herbs that attract predatory insects and birds such as blue tits that feed on aphids. A grafting service is available.

 

Orchard services and produce in Worcestershire

  •  Clive’s Fruit Farm – has around 28 varieties of apple, 8 of pear plus plums, damsons and cherries. Ready picked or PYO. Apple juice, pear juice, cider and perry are also made, and sold in the Farm Shop along with preserves, local cheeses and vegetables. Provide juice pressing service and online ordering service. Willingsworth Farmhouse, Upton upon Severn. 01684 592664

  • Mill Orchards – have around 15 varieties of apples and pears. No farm shop – supply apples and pears to supermarkets. Make 11 varieties of apple juices including blended juices (with raspberry, blackcurrant and pear). Offer  draught and bottled cider, perry, fruit wines, apple juice, jams, pickles and chutneys from our farm in Storridge, near Malvern, Worcs. In season they also offer fresh apples, pears, plums, cherries, damsons and quince.

  • Norbury’s Norrest Farm & Cider Company – Produce Black Bull cider and perry, fruit wines, apple juice, jams, pickles and chutneys. Also offer fresh apples, pears, plums, cherries, damsons and quince in season. Available in Moseley’s farmers markets.

  • Tipsy Fruit Gins Ltd – produce traditionally made fruit gins including with damsons, cherries, raspberries, and blackcurrants.  Tipsage Farm has been replanted with traditional Shropshire Prune Damson trees, in order to be self sufficient in Damsons.

  • Walsgrove Farm – has a seasonal selection of around 60 varieties of apples, plus 17 of plums, available from the Farm Shop; they also offer presentation boxes. Walsgrove Farm, Egdon, Spetchley WR7 4QL. 01905 34537

 

Other links

  • The Story of Evesham’s Orchards – an illustrated booklet, has been updated and reproduced by the Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust and Vale Landscape Heritage Trust. It is an account of the history of the Vale of Evesham’s orchards and includes archive photos of orchards and orchard workers. Available from the Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust, Field Barn, Evesham Road, Cleeve Prior WR11 8JX.