The orchard at Tyntesfield

In 2019 the team of rangers and volunteers at Tyntesfield completed a 5 year project to create a new orchard at Tyntesfield.

There are 300 trees in the orchard, and they're not all apples. There are varieities of pear, walnut, quince, plums, cherries and mulberries across 11 acres at the far corner of the Tyntesfield estate. They're planted with plenty of space between them, to allow them to grow and wildlifte to flourish.

The combination of fruit trees, grassland and scrub means that traditional orchards (unlike commercial orchards) create a similar habitat to woodland pastures, parklands and woodland edge. this creates a home for wild plants and animals, including many species of fungi which rely on decaying wood as the trees grow. 

The distinctive puffball mushroom
Close up view of a large puffball mushroom in grassland
The distinctive puffball mushroom

Once frequently occurring in our landscape, traditional orchards are now a rare sight. The estimated area of traditional orchards currently in the UK is 25,350 hectares, because of this they are a designated priority habitat and we and other conservation charities are working hard the halt the decline of this precious habitat.

The Orchard holds 36 different varieties of Apples trees, many of them old and rare varieties that are in danger of dying out. We have also planted local varieties of cider and juicing apple as well as Pears, quince and stone fruits.

The Future: In April this year we (the National Trust) announced our plans to plant 68 new traditional orchards across England and Wales by 2025, this is as part of our  Land, Outdoors and Nature programme to create 25,000 hectares of priority habitat by 2025. At Tyntesfield we will carry on with the work to look after the orchard and its wildlife and harvest the fruit as the trees mature. Watch this space for Tyntesfield Cider!

 

 

Apples from the Tyntesfield orchard
A pile of apples straight from the tree
Apples from the Tyntesfield orchard