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April 2024 Steyning Community Orchard. News from our orchards

February and early March saw us planting 7 more fruit trees in our orchards in Steyning.

Firstly, we planted 3 more trees in our newest Orchard at Abbey Road, adding to the 6 we’ve added in recent years.

Steyning Scarlet:
This apple was grown by grafting from a tree growing on the side of the Steyning A283 by pass, probably from an apple core thrown from a train window in the 1960’s. Crisp and juicy. Registered by us as a new cultivar in 2019
Donated by David Felton in memory of Edith and Will Felton.

Sussex Mother:
This Sussex apple was first recorded in 1884 in Heathfield. It has conical and angular fruit, becomes yellow as it ripens with, and has as a sweet, spicy taste.
Donated by Sandra and Paula in memory of Alex and Lucette Hemmings.

Exhibited at the RHS in 1934 as a Sussex apple. ‘Lost’ until a tree was found in 2010 at Dunsfold, Surrey. Dark red apples, not fully ripe until December. Also used for cider.
Donated by Brenda Watts in memory of Dorothy and Sydney Hole.

Then later in February and early March, we planted 3 more fruit trees in our main Community Orchard on the Memorial Playing Field. Both days were pretty wet as you can see from the photos. But we are used to a bit of cold rain and wind when we plant trees in February!

Two of these were Sussex apples, making a total of 27 Sussex apple varieties in this orchard collection.

Washington Scarlet:
This is an apple variety that we registered as a new cultivar last year. The original tree is growing in Washington Village. It is a very attractive apple with red skin with netted russeting and has a rich strong flavour.
Donated by Clair and Colin Davies.

Wax Apple:
Possibly an old Sussex heritage variety apple known in 1826 but then ‘lost’. The apples have a flat shape and are a golden colour. It is a late dessert apple, sweet and full of flavour.
Donated for the Zoutewelle family.

James Grieve:
This apple was first recorded in 1893. It ripens in October as a sharp juicy eating apple. Excellent for juicing. Produces heavy crops, and is a good reliable garden apple.
Donated In memory of Norman Zec.

Other Orchard News:
Bramber Brooks Orchard:
You have probably heard that Horsham District Council has finalised the purchase of Bramber Brooks. This includes the Orchard that we planted there for the previous owner. We have met with the Manager of HDC Parks and Recreation who now has responsibility for Bramber Brooks, and are pleased that they have agreed to us taking this 18-tree orchard under our wing and to continue to manage it as one of our own.

Bramber Castle Orchard:
We were approached by the National Trust (NT) and English Heritage (who manage Bramber Castle for the NT) about the possibility of establishing an Orchard on the field to the west of the castle, and asking if we would be interested in helping to make this happen. This field has previously been a small nursery, then a camping field, and more recently used for horse grazing. We’ve had a promising site meeting and if all goes well, will hope to begin planting there next year.

If you have any comments or questions, we can be contacted on email:
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