Traditional orchards have been part of our Three Counties landscape for hundreds of years. Whilst the trees may have been replaced the orchards have stayed in the same spot for centuries. Planted to suit local soils and climate and to meet local needs, they reflect the areas they grow in. Some of the fruits have given rise to place names and many of them are tied up with local customs, recipes, songs and stories.

Click here to find the recipe for Plum Jerkum, a Worcestershire plum wine made with both plums and cider – a heady orchard mix once brewed in the Three Counties.

Watch this short video to see how Colwall have bought the village wassail back to life.

We’re pleased that several of the TCTOP project groups are celebrating their orchards by wassailing and are founding ‘new’ traditions, from apple days to orchard walks.

We’ve tried to celebrate the part they have played over time and to help people understand just how much they have helped to shape social history. If people value their past they are much more likely to help us make sure they are still around in the future.

Our volunteers have helped by getting involved with our heritage and history projects, joining us on our orchard history discovery walks, digging for clues in the local archive offices and submitting their very own digital story.

The short film to the right tells how Martin Haines, one of our expert orchardists, started out as a journeyman, travelling from farm to farm to carry out work.

Orchards have inspired many of our local authors, poets, musicians and artists. Click here to find out about a lovely walk from Breinton which shows off the settings of pastoral scenes painted by Brian Hatton before the Great War and his untimely death in 1916. One of our project orchards is on a farm he painted and students at the care farm there have been inspired to create their own works of art.