Suffolk’s apple-growing heritage returns to its roots

The first heritage apple tree is planted at Trinity Park, From left, Darren Cobbold, assistant estat

The first heritage apple tree is planted at Trinity Park, From left, Darren Cobbold, assistant estates manager, Suffolk Show director Bee Kemball, Suffolk Agricultural Association chief executive Phillip Ainsworth, deputy show director James Blyth, estates assistant Stephen Eccott. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s fruit-growing heritage is being brought back to life by the organisers of the county’s flagship event.

Volunteers were out in force last week planting local and rare speciality varieties of fruit trees to create a traditional orchard at Trinity Park, which hosts the annual Suffolk Show.

The grafted or propagated trees, planted close to the show’s new wildlife area entrance, means that visitors to the event will get to see some old favourites, which are either of Suffolk origin or traditional to the county.

The varieties have been recommended by the Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group and are a mix of apples and damsons including Apple Lady Henniker, Apple St Edmunds Russet, Damson Cluster, Apple Luxton’s Superb and Damson Prune.

The aim is to increase the size of the orchard and introduce more Suffolk varieties over time.

Phillip Ainsworth, chief executive of show organisers the Suffolk Agricultural Association, said he was a “very pleased” that the first phase of planting had started at the site.

“We are passionate about celebrating all that Suffolk has to offer and by planting the beginnings of an orchard, we will have a little bit of the county’s heritage right on our doorstep,” he said.

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In addition to planting the orchard, a team of volunteers, led by assistant estate manager Darren Cobbold, have started preparing the site in advance of the show.

This includes tidying up the hedging near the wildlife area and caravan park, trimming trees near the Grand Ring avenue, digging out silted up drains and moving the ticketing structure to the Bucklesham entrance.

“Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to put on such an incredible event and not many people realise the time and dedication it takes to get the site prepared. I would like thank all those people who have given up their valuable time and joined us this week to start getting the site ready,” said Phillip.

Tickets for this year’s Suffolk Show on May 31 and June 1 are now on sale – save £5 per ticket by purchasing in advance. Advanced tickets cost £22 while children aged under 15 will once again receive free entry.

For more information and to book tickets visit or call the ticket hotline on 01473 707117.