Salthaven Community Orchard in South Woodham Ferrers

The South Woodham Ferrers Salthaven Community Orchard is located to the east of the roundabout at the junction of Creekview and Broughton Roads. The land belongs to Essex County Council and is managed by them.  Residents are welcome to pick the fruit from the orchard in the autumn.

Young trees have been planted amongst the old gnarled lichen encrusted older trees. There are various varieties of apples that include traditional Essex George Cave, Discovery and D’Arcy Spice in addition to Bramley. There are a couple of pear trees and some plum trees, mainly golden gage.

Salthaven Orchard south woodham ferrers

The long grass around the trees is not trimmed. Children from local schools sowed wild flower meadow seeds at one pint which has resulted in a great number of wild flowers that attract bees and other insects.  

There is a bench set to one side in the orchard where people can sit to rest and appreciate the tranquillity.  The main path that leads past the orchard and to flood barrier near Clements Green Creek is a popular place to walk, especially by people with dogs. There is another narrower, less well-known footpath on the other side of the orchard that leads to Marsh Farm Country Park.

Salthaven Community Orchard South Woodham Ferrers


The traditional festival of wassailing has taken place in the orchard and included the singing of songs and hanging of bread on the trees to promote fertility. The birds ate the bread and blessed them with their natural fertiliser, so it does produce results.

Gathering fruit in the autumn

The fruit disappears quickly in certain years, other years people forget and it is left to hang on the boughs until past its best. For many residents, it is far easier to buy apples in the supermarket than to make the effort to pick them. Some people have said that they do not know what to do with the Bramley cooking apples. Again, it is less trouble to buy a readymade pie.

If anyone feels inclined to pick fruit this autumn, do wear long trousers because there are a few brambles about. You could also pick those and make a delicious apple and blackberry pie or crumble.

For those people interested in eating organic fruit and cooking it or making cider, the option is there with just a little effort.