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The RHS Fruit Group

For everyone who loves growing fruit.

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Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, meetings and events that the RHS Fruit Group has planned for this, our 75th Anniversary year have been directly affected - please see details below, which may be updated as the situation develops. 

In the meantime, look after yourselves – we may have to operate as individuals, but together, members of the RHS Fruit Group are a strong community, with a like-minded enthusiasm for fruit growing that has survived for 75 years, and long may that continue.

 The RHS Fruit Group




In 2020, our 75th Anniversary Year, we have other meetings planned at our home base, the fabulous RHS Garden, Wisley

Members old and new, all welcome.


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Our AGM and meeting planned for 2nd April has been cancelled in response to advice on the management of the coronavirus/Covid-19.

Please check our website, Twitter @TheFruitGroup and emails to members for updates on our other meetings and events planned for this year.

Thursday 2nd April


RHS Garden, Wisley 


Meet in the new Welcome Building for a 12.00 noon start.



AGM, and launch of our 75th Anniversary activities and events, starting with an illustrated talk from our keynote speaker:

   Sir John Starkey 

a leading figure in the British fruit growing industry.

In addition to growing fruit and producing fruit juice, 

Sir John Starkey is a historian of Bramley apples, which he grows on their own roots.  

He has been instrumental in the protection of the 'original' Bramley apple tree which has grown in  Southwell for the past 200 years, working with the University of Nottingham to preserve and protect the genetic material of 'Britain's favourite apple'. 

Sir John Starkey says:  “Our Bramleys replicate exactly the properties which make the 200 year old seedling world famous. It is extraordinary that this affects the taste of the fruit but comparative tastings have proved that it does.”



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Thursday 18th June


 RHS Garden, Wisley.

This meeting has been cancelled in response to advice on the management of the coronavirus/Covid-19.

 The theme for the day was planned to be ‘Unusual Fruit’ and RHS Fruit Specialist, Jim Arbury, would have been giving a talk on medlars, mulberrys and quinces  collection at Wisley; this was to be followed by a guided tour of the fruit field and orchards as Guests of the Wisley Fruit Department, to see these fruits growing on the trees.







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Tuesday 3rd November


RHS Garden, Wisley


Meet in the new Welcome Building for a 1.00pm start.


This meeting is focussed on grape growing and vitculture, headlined by a talk 'A Year in the Vineyard' with vitculturalist and fruit grower Alessandra Valsecchi, who established the vineyard at Wisley and works for a major wine producer.  

Time permitting, we will again hold a 'Fruit grower's Question Time', questions from members answered by an expert panel.


Visits 2020


If you are you an RHS member you can join The RHS Fruit Group and take part in all of our activities, for an additional £7 each year.

In addition to the four Fruit Group meetings at the RHS Garden, Wisley, there are three major external visits for members during 2020.  Costs vary for each visit, please contact:

for details.

Details of visits correct as of 18/03/2020, but may be subject to change.

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Tuesday, 2nd June

75th Anniversary Lunch and Visit to Hatfield House


This visit has been postponed until further notice in response to advice on the management of the coronavirus/Covid-19.

We will try and rearrange this prestigious visit for 2021.

We celebrate our 75th Anniversary in style at Hatfield House, Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, on the 2nd June, when Lady Salisbury has invited us to a private visit, on a day when the property is closed to the public.

A 75th Anniversary Lunch will be held for all members present. 

As part of the visit we will be shown the walled gardens and kitchen garden as well as experimental fruit plots where seedlings and wayside fruit trees that are being trialed. 

The House itself will not be open on that day.

Numbers are limited for this visit, so we must restrict places to paid-up members of the RHS Fruit Group only, i.e. no guests.


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Wednesday 5th August

Tuesley Farm, Godalming, Surrey, 


Our second external visit of the year is on the 5th August we visit Hall Hunter’s Tuesley Farm which is near Godalming in Surrey where blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are grown, mainly under cover. 

Tuesley Farm is highly productive and grows quality fruit for many of our supermarkets.

It is set in the beautiful, wooded county of Surrey and has stunning country views. As well as growing great fruit, there’s also a packhouse where the fruit is carefully packed for its customers.





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Thursday, 10th Sept.

Audley End House and Gardens,

Nr. Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF


The third  visit of the year is on the is to the magnificent Audley End, near Saffron Walden in Essex.  

The house is surrounded by extensive ‘pleasure gardens’ and there is a very large walled kitchen garden growing fruit, flowers and vegetables, using organic principles.  

The walled garden also features vast glasshouses with grapes and peaches, a restored ‘Orchard House’ designed by Thomas Rivers, an extensive display of trained fruit, and orchards with historic and local varieties. 

The Fruit Group hasn’t visited Audley End for some years now and it seems perfect to visit another great house in our 75th Anniversary year.










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