Orchards East launch in Essex


We were delighted to welcome over 50 people to our launch in Essex on 25th March at Marks Tey Village Hall. There were five short presentations during the morning. Paul Read (Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group) described what orchards are and where they come from; Lorna Shaw (Essex Wildlife Trust) demonstrated how they are mapping historic orchards in the county; Tom Williamson (University of East Anglia) gave an introduction to historical orchard research; and Neil Wiffen (Essex Record Office) described the origins of the Essex apple d'Arcy Spice. 


Howard Jones, OE Project Manager, encouraged people to get involved in a variety of OE projects including orchard surveys, historical research and the oral history project. After lunch, the group visited Crapes Fruit Farm, a 15 acre wildlife-rich family orchard. The owner, Andrew Tann, is the eldest of the third generation of the family to live at the farm. He has a collection of many varieties of apple which his father, John, compiled. These include very traditional and lesser-known varieties such as Blenheim Orange and D'Arcy Spice.  

Orchard Survey Update

A huge thank you! to the many people who have volunteered to survey parishes across the six East Anglian counties. The number of parishes being surveyed in each county are shown below:

  • Bedfordshire                        38 parishes 
  • Essex                                   26 parishes
  • Norfolk                                 69 parishes 
  • Cambridgeshire                     6 parishes 
  • Hertfordshire                        44 parishes 
  • Suffolk                                  Many of the parishes have been surveyed previously by Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group. An update event will be organised at a place and date to be arranged.

We have linked up with the Youth Stem Award clubs in comprehensive schools and we already have two schools signed up to do surveys over the summer. We are also working with the U3A groups in Kings Lynn and Southend-on-Sea. The Tree Warden Network in Suffolk is keen to get involved and we hope Tree Wardens in other counties will be interested in the project and get in touch with us. 

Training Days
Audley End and Cressing Temple (Essex) - dates to be arranged.
Training days were held in Norfolk on 20th April and in Hertfordshire on 7th July.
Training days will be arranged elsewhere once the volunteer numbers are sufficient. 

We are continuing to recruit volunteers, so please get in touch if you would like to get involved! Contact Howard Jones