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The Orchard

Exhibition Piece: This is a poster that shows images and information on the College orchard by Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project (HICOP). An historic part of Impington, the orchard remains as a living memory to the work of the Chivers family.

There is a small orchard in the grounds of Impington Village College which is believed to have been planted sometime in the 1960s.  Comprising mostly Lord Lambourne apples, as well as a quince and a plum, the orchard is now looked after by Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project (HICOP).  A restorative pruning workshop was led by orchard expert Bob Lever in 2012, who pointed out that the formative pruning of the trees had been very well done.  Unfortunately in Spring 2012 HICOP noticed that the apple trees appeared to be suffering from some blossom wilt.  Over the course of a couple of weekends, HICOP pruned the trees back to remove as much of the infection as possible.  This proved successful, and the trees returned to health, albeit with a much reduced crop (which was partly due to the poor weather in 2012).  HICOP continued restorative pruning in 2013 and in 2014 the trees generally healthy and promising a good crop of apples.

Histon and Impington area has a history of fruit growing, and in particular there are two varieties of apple that were raised in Histon:

  • Histon Favourite is a dessert apple, raised by John Chivers of Histon in 1800.  It has a pale yellow skin with a scattering of pink stripes.  Sharp and crisp flavour when picked, mellowing with storage.
  • Chivers Delight is a dessert apple, raised by Stephen Chivers of Histon in 1920.  It is medium to large sized dull green skinned apple that is occasionally flushed golden brown.