Conservation of our Orchards
The re-planting of the orchards is an on-going project. Every penny spent on fruit picking, as well as the sales of raffle tickets at Brockhampton, helps to support our conservation of these orchards.
The Brockhampton Rangers and a team of dedicated volunteers are in the process of replanting the historic orchards on the estate. Commercially harvested orchards are commonly grubbed up after 20 years or so which make old orchards and the great diversity of species which can live near the old wood increasingly rare. At Brockhampton we are keen to replant the orchards back up to their historic maximum by gradually topping up the existing orchards with new saplings and also replanting three fields around Lower Brockhampton with fruit trees.
Thanks to funds raised by our visitors through donations, purchases in the tea-room and second hand bookshop as well as raffle sales, over the next three years we plan to replant twenty-one acres of the Brockhampton Estate with heritage orchards.
As part of the 2013 Conservation Management Plan, it was identified an area of orchard at the rear of the Manor house was lost in the twentieth century and it is our intention to reinstate this orchard of twenty-one acres across three fields.
In 2016 we made a start on this process with rare varieties of apples donated by Henry May. These traditional apple types were planted in the orchard behind the moated manor house and are now thriving, although it will be a few years yet before they come into fruit which can be harvested.
Artistic inspiration in our orchards
We are working with artist Walter Jack to plan the major replanting work that will be carried out at Brockhampton in coming years. Walter will be bringing his artistic talents and inspiration to bear on the new orchards. To be replanted with a variety of fruit trees, these new orchards will also provide a new space for our visitors to enjoy. As the replanting project progresses there will be opportunities for you to get involved and help out with the replanting in a practical way as well as new spaces for you to explore and enjoy the atmosphere.
This important project will also help to support our biodiversity and increase the range of homes for wildlife here on the estate.
Harvest season is from September to late October depending on the weather and visitors can come and pick their own damsons and apples.
The damson harvest is the first to arrive in September. With over 200 damson trees the harvest lasts for the whole month with plenty of fruit for visitors who like to pick their own for £2.50 per kilo or £3.50 per kilo for ready picked.
October brings the apple harvest to the orchards. Visitors can help out with the harvest and pick their own fruit to enjoy at home. Help us manage the ancient orchards which are home to a wide variety of special and rare creatures.