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20 Sept 2019

A harvest with heritage

A view of an apple orchard with a stone cottage in the background. Some apple trees have been trained to form an arch over a gravel path leading towards the cottage.
Apple trees at Pitmedden Garden
We’re gathering and sharing the produce of our orchards, which are packed full of beautiful fruit including heritage varieties rarely found anywhere else.

The Trust protects a very diverse collection of items of importance to Scotland, including ... apples!

Along with coastlines to castles, art to architecture, and wildlife to wilderness, our charity is also playing an important part in preserving old varieties of apples, which otherwise would long since have disappeared.

Four red and yellow stripy apples are displaced on a wooden picnic table.
Unusual apple varieties will be available at Pitmedden Garden’s Apple Sunday event

Across the dozens of orchards in our care, we have hundreds of heritage types; they’re all fantastic and fascinating alternatives to what’s generally on offer in supermarkets.

At Pitmedden Garden the orchard has more than 200 fruit trees, mostly apples but some pears too. Amongst the collection are some varieties believed to date back to the early 17th century, like the Golden Pippin.

A close-up of an apple tree in Pitmedden Garden, showing deep red apples lower down and very pale green apples higher up.
Apples ripening at Pitmedden Garden

The Aberdeenshire garden’s annual Apple Sunday event is a popular autumn fixture. This year, on 29 September, they’ll have 43 apple types on sale, plus a whole range of related produce and products. Visitors will be able to stock up on some unusual types, including Pitmedden team picks like the UK’s most northerly apple, the Coul Blush, or the curiously named Catshead, and get a taste of history.

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this for the Love of Scotland.

In Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland’s Heritage 2018–23, we set out how we’re planning to work towards our vision that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected now, and for future generations.

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