Lenham Orchard, known as Cherry Downs is an open access picnic site with wide spreading views across the greensand ridge and onto to Romney Marsh and the sea.
It is a small new Morello cherry orchard which celebrates the heritage of Lenham and the surrounding area. Reputedly 20,000 Morello and wild cherry trees grew in the area at the turn of the 20th century for the production of Grants Morella Cherry Brandy at both factories in Lenham and Maidstone.
Cherry Downs welcomes you with a rustic gate of cherries and blossom enhancing the rolling Downs of the area. Beyond, picnic benches and interpretation welcome you to the site. The site celebrates 28 sour cherry trees some sweet cherry and plum. Around the edge of the orchard area are apple and pear trees. Behind a privet hedge, hidden from view is a newly planted cobnut plat. This links with the village of Platts Heath part of Lenham parish.
The varieties planted are Morello – sour cherry, Bradbourne Black, Noir de Guben and Roundel – sweet cherry, Victoria and Belle de Louvain – plum, Conference – pear, Bakers Delicious, Howgate Wonder, King of the Pippins, Laxton Superb, Ribston Pippin and Scrumptious – apple.
Relax at this site with a picnic absorbing the view and celebrating hanami beneath the cherry blossom with thoughts of making your own Cherry Brandy.