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Bedfordshire

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Bedfordshire has an important fruit growing history and one of the most successful plant breeders in the world was based near Bedford – Thomas Laxton was born in 1830 at Tinwell near Stamford. He had a love of plant breeding and had experimental grounds on the Kimbolton and London Roads and at Girtford in Sandy.

His sons and grandsons followed in his footsteps, and together they produced an amazing number of new varieties of apples – such as Lord Lambourne, Laxton’s Epicure, Laxton’s Fortune, Laxton’s Superb and Barnack Orange; plums – Laxton’s Gage, Early Laxton, Laxton’s Supreme; pears, gooseberries, raspberries, currants and strawberries – such as Royal Sovereign.

After his death in 1893, his sons carried on his work on 140 acres known as ‘Laxton’s Land’ at Goldington Road (now covered by Bedfordshire College of Higher Education and two schools). They also opened a shop at 63 High Street, Bedford which remained until 1957.

 

Bedfordshire orchard groups

To find community orchards local to you, see our community orchard map

  • East of England Apples and Orchards Project (EEAOP), works to ensure a future for local orchard fruits and orchards. It covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. They supply local variety fruit trees, attend Apple Days, run workshops and produce a newsletter.  There are about 250 local fruit varieties and EEAOP work to preserve the varieties and their orchard habitat for their local significance, genetic diversity, as local food sources and for their landscape and wildlife value.
  • Bedfordshire and Luton Orchard Group (BLOG) is a countywide organisation representing conservation societies and local people. We aim to bring together like minded people to help survey, conserve and enjoy the county’s orchard heritage. BLOG is managed by a steering group of interested individuals who meet to promote and manage Bedfordshire’s orchards.

 

Where to buy trees in Bedfordshire

 

Where to buy orchard produce in Bedfordshire

This gazeteer is regularly updated. This section currently has no listings, please contact us if you have information to add.

 

Other links

This gazeteer is regularly updated. This section currently has no listings, please contact us if you have information to add.

 

 

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