New varieties of fruit tree planted at Steyning orchard

Preparing for the tree planting at Steyning Community Orchard on Saturday
Preparing for the tree planting at Steyning Community Orchard on Saturday

THREE more trees were planted at Steyning Community Orchard on Saturday, bringing the total number to 11.

The new trees include a pear and a greengage, the first to vary from the apple varieties already planted in the orchard in the Memorial Playing Field.

Lorraine and Rob Fowley donated a Beurre Hardy pear in memory of their father-in-law, Richard Fossey. This traditional variety, which came from France and dates back to about 1820 was planted by Lorraine.

David and Sandra Humphreys donated and planted an Early Transparent Gage, first recorded in Hertfordshire in 1866 and bred by Thomas Rivers.

Jane Oxley and her family planted an Hawkridge in memory of her grandfather, Samuel Durrant Oxley, the man who first brought electricity to Steyning High Street. This Sussex heritage apple tree was first recorded in Hailsham before 1851.

Jane said: “Samuel Durrant Oxley was born about 1880 and died in 1953.

“The Oxley family have lived in Steyning for about 200 years. Samuel Durrant Oxley brought electricity to Steyning High Street in 1921 from a generator in what is now Bunce’s shop.

“The Oxley home was 32 High Street – now Steyning Tea Rooms. At the tree planting, there was a grandchild, two great grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren.”

A team of hard-working volunteers turned out to assist with the planting, digging holes and driving in posts to support protective wire fences around the trees.

Four more trees will be planted on Saturday, March 5. These will be two pear trees, a plum and a quince, bringing the total of new trees to 15. All four have been donated by Steyning residents, who will take part in the planting.

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