British cherries have been grown across the UK for over 2,000* years and are celebrated for their exceptional quality and versatility. The British summer fruit season is the perfect time to look out for fresh fruit from local UK farms; British cherries are a delicious addition to both savoury and sweet dishes, as well as providing a scrumptious snack.
Our cherry growers are located across the UK ensuring continuous supply during the summer months. Our Kentish growers can boast being near to the cherry orchards planted by Henry VIII's court, whilst our Scottish growers are the most northerly growers! Many of our growers are family businesses and combine years of knowledge with a deep rooted passion for superior quality and taste. By choosing cherries grown within the UK, you will be sure to notice the difference in freshness and the super sweet flavour from these wonderful local-heritage fruits.
With a multitude of different varieties of British cherry and many subtle differences in colour, size, texture and sweetness; there’s a whole world of juicy goodness waiting to be explored. These red beauties are not only an exceptional summer accompaniment; they hold an abundance of health benefits too. Just 100g of cherries provides one quarter of our RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C*, which is essential in helping to support our skin, bones and blood vessels.
Cherries are also high in melatonin*, which is an integral hormone for promoting healthy sleep patterns and contain a rich natural source of anthocyanins; powerful antioxidants which give the fruit its ruby red colour.
We are proud to supply all the major British supermarkets as well as selected wholesalers and retailers. Below is an introduction to just some of our growers and recipes illustrating how adaptable the cherry can be.
A R Neaves & Sons
The Neaves family, now in their third generation, have been growing fruit since 1941, when Bryan's father Archie brought Little Sharsted Farm in Kent. Now one of the South-East’s largest fruit growers due to their location and ideal brick earth soil the farm is one of the earliest in the British cherry season. The farm won Top Fruit Grower of the Year in the 2018 Horticulture Business Awards
“The cherry blossom in April is truly stunning and a few months later when the cherries are perfectly ready to pick it really is all hands to the pump. Each and every cherry is selected and picked by hand as a family business my children and their cousins all help out” says Sarah Neaves.
Church Farm, Place UK
The Place family have been growing fruit at Church Farm, Norfolk since 1922. The current Managing Director, Tim Place is the third generation to run the business and has expanded the business from soft fruit into cherries.
They are our most easterly grower with an early site planting the best new dwarf varieties in the most up to date polytunnels with full bird protection netting and dedicated bee hives for pollination.
Place UK supply several UK supermarkets and currently have 11 different varieties to ensure consistent supply and best eating quality. The farm has been recognised by Tesco as having the ‘Best Employment Facilities’ which include a gym, social club and BBQ area.
Growing in the heart of the traditional fruit growing area of Perthshire, Thomas Thomson are a family business owned and managed by husband and wife team Peter and Melanie. Using the best growing techniques and a range of varieties ensures the farm supplies several supermarkets late into the season.
Working with and protecting the environment is important to Peter and Melanie. Many of their fields have field margins that provide the ideal habitat for wild species to grow and thrive. In addition the farm has ancient woodlands beside the River Ericht which provide a secure home for the endangered red squirrel. The river also powers a hydroelectric turbine which provides sustainable power to the farm.
Mansfields was established in 1968 when Buddy Mansfields bought a small holding near Faversham in Kent. Buddy’s son Paul joined the business and hasn’t looked back. As one of our largest cherry growers the farm focusses on quality and offering a range of varieties including Kordia, Penny, Lapins, Sweetheart and Regina. All delivering a full succulent cherry flavour but with slight differences in size, colour and acid/sugar balance – a variety for every palate!
As Paul explains, “The main thing about what we do is we have spent a lot of time and investment in varietal development. We only grow varieties that tick all the boxes, namely that they produce large, dark cherries, good shelf life, eating quality and spread of picking”.
Mount Ephraim Farm
As an Award winning cherry grower, Will Dawes from Mount Ephraim in Kent has even supplied cherries to the Queen as a winner at the annual National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show. The farm have been growing cherries for nearly 40 years.
Mount Ephraim is very much part of the local community and has held cherry open days for the visitors to learn how cherries are grown and harvested, as well as being able to enjoy the 10 acres of Edwardian gardens and the Manor House - (Will is even happy to lay on customised tours!)
Lower Hope Farm
Lower Hope Farm planted their first cherry trees in 1994 and haven’t looked back since! With their gently sloping orchards in Hereford some 700ft above sea level their cherry trees enjoy prime position to attract maximum sunlight and drainage to produce large, plump cherries bursting with flavour.
Lower Hope Farm are a pioneer in modern growing techniques, introducing a concept orchard several years ago successfully trialling innovative growing methods. The farm is also one of the first to introduce cutting edge optical grading technology. Their hard work has been recognised at both the Grower of the Year Awards and the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show.