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We own two orchards and look after four others where we manage the orchard and pick the fruit. All of our orchards are traditional orchards with large trees, grazed by animals during the spring or summer. Unsprayed, un mown and zero till this is by a margin the most sustainable and biodiverse way to grow drinks.

Home Orchard (Limcburn Hill, Chew Magna)

Our 4.5 acre orchard has been planted as an orchard since at least 1760, and must have gone through several iterations in that time. We have a few old trees which are around 100 years old, while most are 15-25 years old, planted by the previous owner during restoration work. We have gapped up the orchard completely now with another 35 trees. We have also embarked on a top working project to convert the Bulmer's Norman and Michelin trees to sharp and bitter sharp varieties to bring the orchard into balance. There are thirty varieties here, with the main bittersweets being Dabinett, Major, Yarlington Mill and Chisel Jersey. The new top worked varieties are Foxwhelp, Porter's Perfection, Court de Wyck and Kingston Black. We have planted Stoke Red, Cap of Liberty, Knotted Kernel, more Foxwhelp, Pennard Bitter, Improved Lambrook Pippin, Gin and Dymock Red. In ten years time this orchard will be where we want it. The soil is variable, clay or heavy loam over claystone/marl with limestone in places. It slopes gently south and is fairly exposed to the wind from the Mendips. Since February 2019 this orchard and the rest of the farm has been certified as Organic.


New Orchard (Home, Limcburn Hill, Chew Magna)

In 2018 we planted a new, small 22 tree orchard in the next door field to our main orchard at home. Though predominantly cider apples, we have also planted quince and damson trees. Varieties: Foxwhelp, Improved Lambrook Pippin, Ashmead's Kernel, Dymock Red, Pennard Bitter, Vranja Quince, Dymock Red plum. (certified Organic). 

Peppershells (Compton Dando)

We began renting this acre of exceptional orchard in 2021. Clay loam with high organic matter and a very diverse understory (historic hay meadow) on top of a hill above Compton Dando. Just 40 trees, around 30 years old, split between Tremlett's Bitter, Dove, Yarlington Mill, Harry Masters Jersey, Browns, Blenheim Orange and Bulmer's Norman. In Organic Conversion, though farmed organically since planting. 

Burlands (Compton Dando)

The sister orchard of Peppershells and planted at the same time, just down the hill on undulating ground alongside a small brook. The soil is quite variable across the orchard with extremely heavy compacted clay in places, clay loam and lighter stony loam including limestone, sandstone and coal. The site receives excellent solar exposure. Tree growth has varied significantly across the site we have been finding certain areas where the trees are more stressed that the fruit is extremely expressive and concentrated, with consistently high sugar levels in certain varieties. Tree age is around 30 years. There is a larger selection of varieties compared to Peppershells: Ellis Bitter, Ashton Bitter, Major, Tom Putt, Browns, Bisquet, Harry Masters Jersey, Dabinett, Reinette D'Obry, Ashton Brown Jersey, Kingston Black, Chisel Jersey, Bulmer's Norman. There are also six Moorcroft perry pear trees. We are adding in Stoke Red, Silver Cup and Blanc Mollet via gapping up and some top working. In Organic conversion.


Ditcheat Hill (Ditcheat)

An extraordinary orchard on Ditcheat Hill, which slopes quite steeply south and gets all of the sun going. The soil is deep loam at the top, thinning out down the slope to clay and heavy clay at the bottom. In the loam drainage is good and the underlying rock is limestone. The varieties existing are Yarlington Mill, Ashton Brown Jersey, Browns Apple, Dove, Improved Hangdown, Red Jersey, Bulmer's Norman, Sweet Coppin, Harry Master's Jersey and Dabinett. We have added Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Porter's Perfection and more Dabinett into gaps.

Abbot's Leigh - Near Orchard 

We are lucky enough to look after part of the old Coates' Cider orchard in Abbot's Leigh, just outside Bristol. Planted in 1951, it was an experimental orchard and some of the trialled varieties were subsequently top worked in the 60's. Predominantly the varieties are Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Dove, Tremlett's Bitter and Bulmer's Norman, but there is one row of Stoke Red, a couple of Browns and one Nehou. The trees are huge, and probably grown on seedling rootstocks, they must initially have been trained as goblet bush trees, but have ended up with a number of tall, hardly branched trunks with the canopy very high like giant broccoli. The soil is heavy loam over limestone with high organic matter and lots of diversity in the understory. We have embarked on a pruning programme to reduce biennialism, raise fruit quality and let more light into the understory to encourage grass growth and improve the landing and keeping on the floor.

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