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Resources

  • General orchard information

    Information regarding orchards, environment, biodiversity

    The National Fruit Collection (formerly Brogdale)

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    The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and includes over 3,500 named Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Bush fruit, Vine and Cob Nut cultivars. Located at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham (Kent), the collection is owned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is part of an international programme to protect plant genetic resources for the future.

    The South Lakeland Orchard Group

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    Our sister organisation in the south of the county

    The South Lakeland Orchard Group was formed in 2007 by people who are passionate about orchard fruits in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England. Their aims are to conserve, maintain and renovate existing fruit orchards and encourage the planting of new orchards in the South Lakeland area recognising the importance of bio-diversity and the preservation of old local varieties of fruit.

    The Northern Fruit Group

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    Promoting fruit growing in the north of England

    The group was formed in November 1995 by a group of like-minded people with a passion for fruit growing. Membership has since grown to over 400 in number with a wide range of expertise from novice to professional growers. Although centred in Yorkshire, membership spreads as far as Scotland, west Wales, northern France and the Netherlands!

    Westmorland Damson Association

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    Products, history and information about Westmorland Damsons.

    The Westmorland Damson Association was formed in April 1996 by a group of local people who wished to preserve the damson orchards in the old County of Westmorland, especially in and around the Lyth Valley.

    Every April, they run the "Damson Day" in the Lyth valley.

    The Lancashire Apples project

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    The Lancashire Apples Project involves the Northern Fruit Group, Lancaster Seedsavers, the Middlewood Trust and Lancashire County Council, which has funded the exercise. In 2005, 200 apple trees were grafted at Middlewood near Lancaster. Most were of historic northern varieties, which were offered for sale to the public in Lancaster in February 2006. Such was the success of the project that it has been repeated - more local varieties have been grafted and will be available in early 2007.

    Royal Horticultural Society

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    Advice, plant finder and gardens

    Natural England

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    Natural England are the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide. Type "orchard" into their search box for relevant resources.

    They have also produced a leaflet on traditional orchards in the context of climate change (click on the download link)

    Download Traditional orchards

    People's Trust for Endangered Species

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    People’s Trust for Endangered Species was set up in 1977 to save our wildlife. They are governed by a board of volunteer trustees and their team of staff are passionate about protecting endangered species and places.

    Orchards are a valuable resource for native species. Type "orchard" into the search box on the site for more information.

    National Biodiversity Network

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    The National Biodiversity Network is a collaborative partnership created to exchange biodiversity information. It is a charity, with a membership including many UK wildlife conservation organisations, government, country agencies, environmental agencies, local environmental records centres and many voluntary groups.

  • Orchard management

    Planning, planting, grafting, pruning, meadow management.

    How not to grow fruit trees

    The webmaster's tale of woe so that you can avoid the same mistakes.
    Download How not to grow fruit trees

    The Fruit Garden Displayed

    ISBN 0-304-34016-2

    Author: Harry Baker

    The authoritative text on fruit growing. Currently out of print but numerous old editions are available second-hand.

    The Apple Grower

    ISBN 1-931498-91 1

    Author: Michael Phillips.

    A book from the US for apple-growing enthusiasts, particularly with reference to organic orchards. Some of the information is (East Coast) US-specific, but there is much of value.

    Pruning apples

    Apple tree pruning - for bush form
    Download Pruning apple trees

    Care of the newly-grafted tree

    The Scythe Shop

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    Simon Fairlie - supplier of Austrian scythes

    This is the supplier of the NCOG scythes. Simon imports Schröckenfux hand-forged scythe blades into the UK, direct from the factory in Austria where they have been made since 1540. Austrian scythe blades are recognized around the world as being of the highest quality. They are lighter, nimbler, more elegantly formed and easier for the novice to sharpen -- yet no more expensive than traditional English scythes.

    The Mistletoe Directory

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    A gateway to mistletoe-related websites
  • Tree suppliers & fruit information

    Orange Pippin

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    R V Roger

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    The Northern Pomona

    ISBN 978-0-9556653-0-1

    Editor: Linden Hawthorne.

    An excellent book on northern apple varieties with beautiful watercolour plates and lots of recipes too.

    The Apple Book

    ISBN 978-0-7112-3141-2

    Author: Rosie Sanders.

    The definitive modern illustrated guide to English (and some international) apple varieties. Possibly the best illustrations for identification puposes.

    Frank Matthews

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    Frank P Matthews grow over ½ million container grown and bare root fruit and ornamental trees every year for supply into garden centres, nurseries, mail order companies and commercial growers. They also supply rootstocks for orchard groups etc.

  • Cider and juice-making

    The Cider Workshop

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    Lots of cider-related resources and an active forum.

    Anyone can join the Cider Workshop discussion group and ask questions or simply discuss real/craft/traditional cider and perry (or as some of us prefer, heritage cider and perry.) The cider workshop web resource is an easy reference for all cider lovers and as a storage space of ideas and expertise for the group.

    Craft Cider Making

    ISBN 978-1-904871-37-8

    Author: Andrew Lea.

    An excellent guide from a technical expert who spent 13 years at the Long Ashton Reserarch Station (for the National Fruit and Cider Institute).

    The New Cider Maker's Handbook

    ISBN 978-1-60358-473-9

    Author: Claude Jolicouer.

    Highly informative guide for serious amateur and professional cider makers.

    Cider Enthusiasts' Manual

    ISBN 978-0-85733-283-7

    Author: Bill Bradshaw.

    Very practical guide to traditional cider making. Includes the webmaster's plans for making an apple press.

    How to build an apple press

    Build a sturdy and efficient press for well under half the price it would cost to buy one
    Download Building an apple press

    The Wittenham Hill Cider Pages

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    Leading cider scientist Andrew Lea's personal website (unfortunately no longer updated)

    A huge resource of general and detailed information about cider-making from the foremost cider scientist in the UK.

    Real Cidermaking

    ISBN 1-85486-495-6

    Authors: Micahel Pooley & John Lomax.

    A great introduction to cider-making, including information for making your own press.

    Vigo presses

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    UK market leader in juicing and cider equipment

    Milling, pressing and fermentation equipment plus a whole load of ancillary products.

    Pure Cumbrian cider and apple juice - Mosser Cider

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    Mosser Cider is the result of combining a passion for great cider with a desire to make a truly unique local product. It can only be found in outlets which take pride in local Cumbrian produce as well as excellent food and drink. The website has information about the cider and a (not very regular) blog about the orchard and products.

    Scottish cider - from Waulkmill Cider

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    Cider from just over the border at Langholm

    Cider and vinegar to buy, tours and courses.

  • Information sheets

    North Cumbria Orchard Group - information sheet

    Information sheet about the group for download and printing
    Download NCOG information

    Recommended apples for growing in Cumbria

    Apple tree size

    This is a really useful guide to expected tree size, based on variety, rootstock and growing conditions. It is similar to the information given in the fruit section of this website, but a bit more detailed and can be printed for use at events etc.

    Download Apple tree size

    How not to grow fruit trees

    The webmaster's tale of woe so that you can avoid the same mistakes.
    Download How not to grow fruit trees

    Why graft?

    Information about the purpose of grafting and different apple rootstocks.
    Download Why graft apples?

    Grafting

    How to do whip and tongue grafts on apple trees
    Download Grafting

    Care of the newly-grafted tree

    Pruning apples

    Apple tree pruning - for bush form
    Download Pruning apple trees

    How to build an apple press

    Build a sturdy and efficient press for well under half the price it would cost to buy one
    Download Building an apple press
  • Books

    The Apples and Orchards of Cumbria

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    A comprehensive review of Cumbrian apple varieties and of Cumbrian orchards open to the public. ISBN: 978-190-452-4557

    "This book grabs the apple lover from the start with the close-up of bright red fruit opposite the contents page. Dedicating the book to Cumbria's Queen of Apples, Hilary Wilson, the author – who chairs the South Lakeland Orchard Group – focuses on the varieties originating in our area and the gardens and orchards where they can others may be seen. In Lakeland, he writes, two distinct categories of fruit growing developed – in the great country houses, where apples were eaten fresh at the end of a meal and on farms, where the apples were used for cooking and the most common variety in the 19th century was Keswick Codlin. Whether you want to be able to tell a Lemon Square from a Nelson's Favourite or discover the connection between artist Kurt Schwitters and an orchard in Elterwater, this is the book for you." Cumbria Life, February 2014.

    The Northern Pomona

    ISBN 978-0-9556653-0-1

    Editor: Linden Hawthorne.

    An excellent book on northern apple varieties with beautiful watercolour plates and lots of recipes too.

    The Apple Book

    ISBN 978-0-7112-3141-2

    Author: Rosie Sanders.

    The definitive modern illustrated guide to English (and some international) apple varieties. Possibly the best illustrations for identification puposes.

    The Fruit Garden Displayed

    ISBN 0-304-34016-2

    Author: Harry Baker

    The authoritative text on fruit growing. Currently out of print but numerous old editions are available second-hand.

    The Apple Grower

    ISBN 1-931498-91 1

    Author: Michael Phillips.

    A book from the US for apple-growing enthusiasts, particularly with reference to organic orchards. Some of the information is (East Coast) US-specific, but there is much of value.

    Craft Cider Making

    ISBN 978-1-904871-37-8

    Author: Andrew Lea.

    An excellent guide from a technical expert who spent 13 years at the Long Ashton Reserarch Station (for the National Fruit and Cider Institute).

    The New Cider Maker's Handbook

    ISBN 978-1-60358-473-9

    Author: Claude Jolicouer.

    Highly informative guide for serious amateur and professional cider makers.

    Cider Enthusiasts' Manual

    ISBN 978-0-85733-283-7

    Author: Bill Bradshaw.

    Very practical guide to traditional cider making. Includes the webmaster's plans for making an apple press.

    Real Cidermaking

    ISBN 1-85486-495-6

    Authors: Micahel Pooley & John Lomax.

    A great introduction to cider-making, including information for making your own press.

    The Apple Orchard - The story of our most English fruit

    ISBN 978-0-141-98228-1

    Author: Pete Brown.

    Highly entertaining and informative journey through the seasons in England's apple-growing heartlands.

  • Research

    Cumbria Apple Project

    In 1997 a survey of orchards in two North Cumbrian parishes was carried out - you can download the original document as a pdf file using the download link below but be aware that the file is 6mb. Please note that the Cumbria Apple Project materials remain the property of the original authors, Nick Hirst and Peter Emsley.

    Download Cumbria Apple Survey

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