Book: Apples & Orchards in Sussex

Apples and orchards in Sussex

Action in rural Sussex and Brighton Permaculture Trust are proud to have collaborated on Apples and Orchards in Sussex, a paperback book authored by Brian Short with contributions and editing by our very own Peter May and Anne-Marie Bur as well as Gail Vines.

This book reflects a new enthusiasm for making fruit-growing in the county of Sussex commonplace once again.

Buy Apples & Orchards in Sussex now for just for £15 £5 plus £3.50 p&p. Only available at this special price through us.

Discover the rich history of the Sussex apple

Apples have been cultivated in Sussex since Roman times. As recently as the 1950s, a dense network of orchards - big and small, urban and rural - spread right across Sussex. These orchards formed a valued part of everyday lives and livelihoods and were hospitable to wildlife, too. Now is the time to re-establish orchards as a living resource accessible to everyone.

Apples and Orchards in Sussex offers detailed descriptions of all the Sussex apple varieties and is the first cultural history of apples and orchards in Sussex. There are stories from professional growers, gardeners, naturalists and community orchardists, exploring our rich and enduring relationships with fruit, as well as illustrations from historic archives and watercolours by botanical artist Nicky Ashford, and maps of Sussex showing historical orchard distribution.

This book offers practical advice on planting your own apple trees, on joining a community orchard, and on how to find and enjoy locally grown fruit, juice and cider. It describes how orchards can help to fight climate change while boosting social wellbeing and personal health, and provide a beautiful green place for people to enjoy.

About the authors

The book is authored by Brian Short with contributions and editing by Peter May, Gail Vines, and Anne-Marie Bur.

Brian Short is Emeritus Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Sussex.
Peter May is an orchard expert with extensive professional experience in fruit-growing.
Gail Vines is an environmental writer and editor.
Anne-Marie Bur is Food and Health Coordinator at Action in rural Sussex. With Bryn Thomas of Brighton Permaculture Trust, she is responsible for the Local Fruit Futures project which helped to make this book a reality.

How the book came about

The team behind the book explain:

"Apples and Orchards in Sussex came about in response to the current challenges facing people who eat fruit as well as fruit growers - the grubbing up of commercial orchards, the scarcity of heritage varieties of apples associated with Sussex, the domination of imports in shops and the loss of domestic skills such as cooking with apples.
"After years of creating community orchards, we wanted to find out more about our fruit-growing past and to look at ways in which people today might contribute to future orchards - both as a treasured landscape feature and as a source of fruit.
"Prof. Brian Short has trawled the archives of the Kew Gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society and museums to build up a detailed picture of how orchards originally came to England and to Sussex. Oral historians have gathered the stories of people across Sussex with inside knowledge of fruit-growing in our past and present, and, together, we point practical ways to a rich fruit-growing future."

Where to purchase

The book is available now for a special discounted price of just  for £15 £5 plus £3.50 p&p. Contact us to place your order.