The Society looks after a Community Orchard not far from the Showground, behind Trinity School which is owned by the National Trust. The Orchard is home to the Jersey Cider Apple Collection, containing traditional Jersey varieties of apple trees.
The Orchard was planted in 1991 as a way of saving traditional cider apple varieties from extinction, after many of the island’s apple trees at that time, were destroyed in the Great Storm of 1987.
In October 1988 the Presidents of the Société Jeriaise and National Trust met with Brian Phillipps and Rosemary Bett, who had volunteered their services, to formulate a plan to preserve any remaining trees after the Great Storm. A group of interested people with knowledge of cider apple varieties, cider making and tree identification was then formed.
Over the next three years, approximately 350 trees were inspected and 172 tagged for further selection and propagation. On 3rd December 1991, an orchard was planted on land generously allocated by the Agriculture and Fisheries committee and was maintained at that time by the Jersey Cider Orchard Trust.
The Orchard is now owned by the National Trust and after they approached the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, a Community Orchard was jointly created in May 2012.
The Society maintains the Orchard and arranges apple picking each year, to supply La Mare Wine Estate and crush for the Society’s own use. The National Trust retain the crop arising from any trees of the variety ‘Gros France’ or ‘Gros Romeril’ for their annual Black Butter making.
The following varieties were planted in the Orchard:
Belles Filles, Belles Filles Type, Capi, Cotard, Douces Dames, Douces Dames Type, Early Rouget, Gras Binet, Gros France, Gros France Type, Gros Pigeonnet, Gros Romeril, Late Rouget, Museau d’Boeuf, Nier Binet, Petit France, Petit Romeril, Petit Romeril Type, Tetard and Tetard Type.
Part of the Community
The Orchard is already a key part of the Community and it is hoped that this will become increasingly so as the years go by. Already school children from Trinity School have spent afternoons at the Orchard, helping to pick the apples and enjoying the wildlife.
Other activities in the Orchard include pruning the trees, mowing and strimming the grass and maintaining the hedge around the field. There will hopefully be some bee hives on their way there in the future too.
There are lots of exciting plans in the pipeline for the Community Orchard in the future, if you would like to get involved in any of these, or just help pick apples once a year, we’d love to hear from you. We welcome anyone and everyone to get involved!
Email email@example.com or call 866555 for more information.