Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group
STOG's spring 2014 newsletter out now!
Click here > (PDF 4 MB) to download our latest newsletter. We have lots of interesting articles for you, including Sarah Day’s walk around Dunwich and Minsmere taking in several apple and pear trees. You can do the walk too - there’s a map and text to follow; Paul’s article on how other seaside fruit trees fared after the storm surge; apple juicing; pollination, pruning and silver-leaf in plums; and recipe swaps and historical fruit recipes from our food historian, Monica Askay. Paul has added some fascinating botanical comments to this article.
STOG's AGM and Collections event 2012
We were delighted to welcome the group to Mr Andrew Paul's Vale Farm Barns. Broxtead Estate on 28th November. Paul Read (chair) and Gen Broad (Project Manager) gave updates of project highlights after one year of the HLF funded project . The Collections event featured Jeannie Buckingham who described the Two Fields project in Debenham and Andrew's Sandlings Collection. Visting the newly planted walled orchard and a recently discovered cobnut plantation after lunch was fascinating. With advice from STOG and assistance from Suffolk FWAG, Andrew has planted old traditional varieties such as Walberswick Wonder and White Ribstone Pippin and will be coppicing the overgrown cobnut plantation to restore health and vigour to the old trees. The event was a great success and we look forward to working with new orchard groups and individual enthusiasts over the coming year. Thank you to Andrew Paul for kindly hosting this event.
Advice Notes now available!
STOGAN 6 Cobnuts in Suffolk, published 29 March 2013.
STOGAN 9 Suffolk Traditional orchard ground flora - natural and planted published 7 Dec 2012.
See these and our other Advice notes - Advice Notes and Mini-Monographs page >
STOG summer and autumn events
We had a very busy programme of events during the summer and autumn of 2012 - click here to find out what we did and when!
New and Old Orchards for Suffolk
In the early 1900s, Suffolk had more than 6,000 orchards; click on the link to see the map Old Orchard Sites in Suffolk map (PDF 250Kb). Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group now has an exciting 3-year project, New and Old Orchards for Suffolk, which aims to record how many of those orchards remain, their potential for restoration and the locations of any newly planted, traditionally managed orchards. We are also 'ground-truthing' the People's Trust for Endangered Species aerial orchard survey.
All of this is only possible thanks to an army of volunteers. If you'd like to be involved, we can train you in how to survey orchards in our FREE workshops, dates and venues advised in the STOG newsletter. You don't need any previous knowledge, just bring enthusiasm!
New and Old Orchards for Suffolk is researching and providing information on several aspects of orchards:
Oral histories of orchards
Collecting and recording stories about Suffolk's orchards, enabling future generations to understand more of our county's rich and fascinating past.
Would you like to know more about how to select, store and cook medlars, culinary pears, quince, sour cherries, bullace, cobnuts and other produce? We'll be sharing recipes and information about these widely grown, but little appreciated fruits and nuts.
Advice on amenity orchards
If you'd like to plant a community orchard with traditional varieties, contact us to find out how we can help.
Suffolk Traditional Orchard advice notes and mini-monographs
We have a range of publications to assist practical planting of orchards and increase knowledge of Suffolk fruit and nut varieties. Go to our Advice Notes page >
Surveyor courses, grafting techniques, fruit identification.
Autumn 2014 available here > (PDF 2 MB) Content: earwigs in orchards, more about fruit leathers, a history of Christmas food, interesting fruit at plum and apple days in 2013, orchard tooth - a rare fungus, the cherry Polstead Black, Suffolk orchard survey update, cobnuts, receipt swaps, experiments with mulberries and fruit trees by the sea.
Summer 2013 available here (PDF 2MB). Content: Monica Askay's new 'Recipe Swap' and Fruit Leathers; Summer tree fruit (mulberrys); the mysteries of the Norfolk Beefing apple; Sour cherries, Morellos, Amarelles and Dukes; apples in July and August; new information on the quince membrillo / marmalade discussion; update on Suffolk Traditional Orchard survey.
Spring 2013 available here (PDF 2.6 MB). Content: Pear trees in bloom, Programme of events, Cobnuts in Suffolk and the Kentish Cobnut Association, Beefings and Biffins by Monica Askay, What's in a name (Coalman apple), STOG's orchard tree buying scheme, Opportunities to graft fruit trees, Common cobnuts in Suffolk, Sour cherries, Morellos and Dukes and the sequence of tree blossom in spring.
January 2013 available here (PDF 807Kb ). Content: An apple called Rattle, Programme of events, Advice Notes & Mini-Monographs available, Seaside fruit trees, Suffolk orchard collections, Marmalade in the C16th (and recipe) by Monica Askay, Can you help us?
April 2012 available here (PDF 525 Kb). Content: Orchard survey progress, Success for workshops, Orchard wildlife, Apple dumpltings recipe, Scattered Orchards Project, STOG plum day, New orchards, Apple / autumn fruit days, Fruit identification, Events, Projects, Suffolk fruit collections, STOG Advice Notes.
January 2012 available here (PDF 1.0 MB). Content: Launch of New and Old Orchards for Suffolk, project aims, why orchards are important, events and workshops.
The Kentish Cobnut Association has a very interesting newsletter. For further information visit the Kentish Cobnut Association website >
Why are orchards important?
Orchards are important for wildlife, people and our heritage. The majority of orchards in Suffolk are small, often less than 1 acre, and are often managed very little. It is this very lack of management that makes them havens for wildlife, encouraging the presence of mammals, birds and invertebrates and allowing mosses, lichens and wildflowers to flourish. Orchards may contain many varieties of fruits and nuts which are no longer commercially available, so they are an important source of varieties. Orchards are also part of our natural heritage, a social and cultural legacy that is bound up with the people and diverse landscapes of the county.
The orchards of Suffolk
Every county has its own local traditional orchard form and Suffolk has several very different traditions. For example, the tall standard cherry trees in parkland settings in south Suffolk; ancient cobnut coppices; and numerous small farmhouse orchards with a rich mix of crop trees. There are few large commercial orchards.
Orchards and wildlife
Traditional orchards often have a rich mix of habitats such as standing fruit and nut trees, decaying and dead wood, grassland, scrub, ponds and hedges. Many Suffolk orchards have been abandoned or hardly managed for decades, escaping the chemical spraying routines that make orchards virtually sterile. This variety of habitats is not only enjoyable for people; it allows different species to take advantage of a range of food types and hiding places. For example a Sturmer apple tree may be only 60 years old, but have the rot holes, decay and habitats of a veteran tree and so be attractive to several types of invertebrate.
People's Trust for Endangered Species
Natural England TIN020 Traditional Orchards, Orchards and Wildlife
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES AND WORKSHOPS
Phone Paul Read on 01379 870422 for more details of any of these events. Details are also listed in our January 2013 newsletter which can be downloaded above.
Saturday 23rd February 2013 : Orchard Surveyors training course. FREE 10:00 - 16:00. Thrandeston
Saturday 2nd March 2013 : "So you want to plant an orchard"? FREE 10:00 - 16:00. Thrandeson
Saturday 23rd March 2013: All about orchards! A Suffolk Wildlife Trust event. 10:00 - 15:00. Foxburrow Farm, Melton
Gen Broad, Project Manager
Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group
Ipswich IP1 3QH
Tel: 01473 264308 or 017894 885337