We manage visitor access to the NFC in partnership with the University of Reading
Brogdale Collections is the home of the National Fruit Collection and works to provide access and education about the National Fruit Collection. Set in over 150 acres of farmland, we have over 4000 varieties of fruit trees here from apples, pears, quinces and plums to cherries and more. The Collections orchards are a living history & heritage of fruit.
Self-guided tours are available any time of the day or year, you can spend as much time as you like wandering the pathways, enjoying the countryside and discovering the fruits cycle from blossom to fruit and frost.
Apples – The apple is the largest collection at Brogdale with varieties coming from all over the world and almost every county in Britain. Apples can be sweet, sharp, aromatic, crispy, juicy or soft & creamy.
Varieties in Collection – 2,131
Harvest Season – Late July – Late November
Main Harvest – Mid September – Late October
(Depending on Variety)
Pears – The pear collection, like the apple, has varieties from all over the world. Their rich flavours and buttery or gritty texture has meant that pears have been popular for thousands of years.
Varieties in Collection – 523
Harvest Season – September – Late October (Depending on Variety)
Cherries – The varieties in the cherry collection come from all over Europe. They have been loved since the Greeks and Romans. The collection was replanted in 1996.
Varieties in Collection – 404
Harvest Season – Mid June – Late July (Depending on Variety)
Plums – The plum collection has varieties from Europe, USA and Canada. Their juicy, succulent flavour made them very popular with the Victorians, who developed many varieties. The collection was replanted in 1995.
Varieties in Collection – 332
Harvest Season – Late July – Late September (Depending on Variety)
Quince – The pale quince flesh has a rosy colour when cooked is traditionally stewed, poached or baked in desserts, often with other fruits.
Varieties in Collection – 19 (Culinary)
Harvest Season – October (Before First Frost)
Store for 4 – 8 weeks before use.
Nuts – The hazelnut & cobnut collection was replanted in 2002 and has varieties that come mainly from Europe. Nut trees can live for up to 100 years.
Varieties in Collection – 48 (culinary)
Harvest Season –
Medlars – Medlars fruit is tart if eaten raw, but makes nicely flavoured jellies and chutneys or can be used in desserts. Left to soften or “bletted” the fruit mellows and the texture softens.