The idea of a community orchard was first discussed in early 2019, and by June 2019 the Trustees had registered Holderness Community Orchards as a charity.

We applied for a £1000 grant from East Riding of Yorkshire Council in July 2019 as part of the ‘Year of Green Action‘ initiative. Our application was successful, and Hedon Town Council agreed in principle to let us use Elsie Gate field as the home for the orchard.

About Elsie Gate

Elsie Gate field is situated on Ivy Lane, past the cemetery. The map below shows the exact location, shaded in dark green.

Map of Elsie Gate field

A Google map of the area is shown below.

Currently, the field is relatively empty, surrounded by Ash and Damson trees, with a few Oak trees planted by the Town Council. You can see a gallery of photos by clicking on our Gallery page.

The Trees

We have chosen the trees carefully so that there is something available from July to November. There is a mixture of different fruit trees, many of them ‘heritage’ varieties, including apple, pear, gage, damson, plum and cherry trees. The trees were supplied by Walcot Organic Nursery in Swindon, and the details of the trees in the sections below are taken from their catalogue.

Apples

Beauty of BathA very early dessert apple. Medium sized flat round apples largely flushed bright red interspersed with many large yellow lenticels. When ripe the apple is sweet with some acidity (1864, Bath)Late July
Bloody PloughmanThe Bloody Ploughman was first recorded in 1883. It originates from the Carse of Gowrie, Scotland. It is a medium to large apple, flat-round in shape, with ribs. It has dark red skin, when ripe the crisp, juicy flesh can be stained pink. It has a sweet, light flavor and grows on a vigorous tree.September/October
BountifulA good alternative to Bramley. Skin pale green striped with orange red. Trouble free and heavy cropping. Good for small gardens (1964, Kent)Late September
ButterballA crab apple, its name describes the masses of round butter coloured crab apples it produces which stand out on autumn days. Ideal for jelly making.September/October
Cox Self FertileThe same as Cox but benefits from being self-fertile. Can crop better than its parent, Cox’s Orange Pippin, when pollination conditions are less favourable.October
DabinettA well known cider variety. A bittersweet. Regular cropping, producing a high quality well balanced cider. Apples medium sized conical in shape with pinkish red striping. (Somerset)Early November
DiscoveryVery good early eater, crisp, juicy and sweet. Almost all covered with bright crimson. Suitable for most areas. (1949, Essex)August
Ellison’s OrangeGreen yellow skin flushed over red. Scab resistant. Juicy, richly flavoured fruits with a hint of aniseed. Hardy, good for the north and east. (1904, Lincolnshire)September
Herefordshire red streakAn old variety dating back to early 1600s. Because of its high quality cider this variety helped establish Herefordshire’s reputation as a cider county.Early November
Howgate WonderVery large cooker. Round/conical shape. Skin flushed orange brown over yellow green background. Sub acid light taste when cooked. A pleasant eating apple. (1915, Isle of Wight)Early October
Kingston BlackHas become well known for producing a high quality single variety cider of distinct flavour. Ripe apples flushed largely dark red almost black. Flesh is bittersharp.Early November
Sturmer PippinA very late dessert apple that is picked after a long Autumn. Crisp, juicy and flavoursome to eat. The medium sized apples are greenish yellow flushed orangey brown at picking. (1827 Suffolk)November
Sweet AlfordProduces a good quality sweet cider. Medium sized conical apples are flattened at ends. Yellow waxy skin flushed up to one third orange. Flesh sweet, white with no astringency.Early November

Cherries

ColneyA late dessert cherry. Heavy crops of high quality red black fruits. Said to be less prone to splitting. British bred variety. Self-sterile.Late July
LapinsWell flavoured large dark red sweet cherries that turn almost black. Heavy cropping and self-fertile.Mid July

Damsons, gages & medlars

MerryweatherDamson producing blue/black plum like fruits with a bloom. Flesh green yellow and quite sweet when ripe. A good cropper which bears early in its life. Self-fertile. (1907, Nottingham)September
Cambridge GageA very nice flavoured gage, Round fruits with yellow green skin and flesh. Sweet and juicy. Partially self-fertile. (1920s, Cambridgeshire)Mid August
Jefferson’s GageThe gages are yellow green skinned with red dots. Roundish in shape. The flesh is golden yellow, sweet, juicy and of good flavour. (USA, 1825)Late August
Medlar NottinghamA more unusual fruit tree whose fruits need to be left to rot slightly in the autumn before being used to make jelly, jam, chutney or even cheese.Late October/Early November

Pears

Beurre HardyMedium to large fruits coloured russet brown with faint red. Very juicy with a good flavour. Strong grower. Succeeds in most areas. (1820, France)Mid September
Merton PrideProduces large pears of excellent taste. Green skin that turns yellow with russeting. Flesh creamy white, juicy and sweet (1941, Surrey)Mid September
OnwardAn excellent quality pear that crops reliably. Fruits smooth, yellow green with a pinkish red flush. Flesh creamy white and juicy with excellent rich flavour. (1967; Wisley, Surrey)Early October
Pierre CornielleAn excellent tasting pear. The large pyriform shaped pears ripen to have a warm golden brown skin colour. The skin is smooth. The creamy white flesh is firm yet sweet and juicy.October

Plums

Blue TitProduces round oval medium sized dark blue plums. Yellow flesh, quite juicy of good flavour. Reliable August cropper and self-fertile. (1938, Bedford)Mid August
DenbighPlums ripen dark red with many small yellow dots. The golden yellow flesh is sweet, juicy and of good flavour. (1785, North Wales)Late August
HeronLarge, long oval shaped purple plums with greenish yellow flesh of good taste. Reliable cropper. (1888, Herts)Mid August
Victoria plumWell known plum. Pale red skin, yellowish flesh. Self-fertile. Less disease resistance than some plum varieties. Reliable heavy cropper. (1840, Sussex)Late August

Quince

VranjaMost well known variety for its reliability and flavour. The large pear shaped quinces ripen to golden yellow.October