No Man’s Orchard is situated on the eastern edge of Chartham Hatch with access from Bigbury Road, via the Recreation Ground, on the North Downs Way which runs alongside the orchard.
The orchard was purchased jointly by Chartham Parish Council and Harbledown Parish Council in December 1995 and officially launched on April 28th 1996 by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury and the previous owner, Mr. J. Brewer.
At the launch the City of Canterbury Band played everybody into the orchard and local dancing groups from Harbledown and Chartham performed wonderful celebratory routines. Representatives from the two parishes had a competitive tug of war across the Parish boundary. The inside of Chartham Hatch Village Hall was decorated with poems, and paintings of orchards and the surrounding countryside. Over 400 people attended the day.
About – No Man’s Orchard
The name “No Man’s” traditionally means that the land straddled two areas of ownership and was therefore not owned by any one man and this is borne out by the parish boundary, which runs across the centre of the orchard.
The orchard covers 4 hectares (10 acres) and comprises approximately 152 mature Bramley apple trees and 45 pollinators (Howgate Wonders, James Grieve, Worcesters). The trees were planted in 1947. Some of the Bramleys have had pollinators grafted onto their tops.
No Man’s Orchard is one of the few surviving traditional orchards in the area and protected under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It was designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest in 1995 and forms part of Blean Woods South SNCI AS/SW/CA 17. It has also been designated as a local Nature Reserve.
The management of No Man’s Orchard is co-ordinated by the Kentish Stour Countryside Project with extensive pruning and planting being carried out. No herbicides have been applied for a number of years and no sprays have been used since the summer of 1993, fruit can now be officially described as “organic”.
It is extremely attractive to walkers, having some of the largest apple trees in the Canterbury District with wonderful blossom in April and May. It is well hidden from Bigbury Road by woodland, mostly Sweet Chestnut coppice, and has a secluded, peaceful atmosphere.
No Man’s Orchard Photo Gallery
Members of the Public may adopt a tree at a cost of £25.00 per annum, or £75.00 for life. Enquiries can be made at either of the Parish Council numbers listed below.
If you are able to offer some help towards No Man’s Orchard, whether in the form of ideas, practical “hands on” assistance, or your own expertise then please contact either the Parish Councils or the Kentish Stour Countryside Project.