The name “No Man’s” traditionally means that the land straddled two areas of ownership and was therefore not owned by any one man and this is borne out by the parish boundary, which runs across the centre of the orchard.
The orchard covers 4 hectares (10 acres) and comprises approximately 152 mature Bramley apple trees and 45 pollinators (Howgate Wonders, James Grieve, Worcesters). The trees were planted in 1947. Some of the Bramleys have had pollinators grafted onto their tops.
No Man’s Orchard is one of the few surviving traditional orchards in the area and protected under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It was designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest in 1995 and forms part of Blean Woods South SNCI AS/SW/CA 17. It has also been designated as a local Nature Reserve.
The management of No Man’s Orchard is co-ordinated by the Kentish Stour Countryside Project with extensive pruning and planting being carried out. No herbicides have been applied for a number of years and no sprays have been used since the summer of 1993, fruit can now be officially described as “organic”.
It is extremely attractive to walkers, having some of the largest apple trees in the Canterbury District with wonderful blossom in April and May. It is well hidden from Bigbury Road by woodland, mostly Sweet Chestnut coppice, and has a secluded, peaceful atmosphere.