Orchards, Trees & Orchard Produce
Cumberland & Westmorland
Westmorland damsons of the Lyth and Winster Valley near Kendal are a little smaller and sharper than their Shropshire relatives. The trees are scattered all over the valley - along stonewalls, in field corners, near the schoolyard - anywhere where the thin soils allow. Like the Kea plum, these damsons continue to be sold locally for picking and jamming. They can be enjoyed fresh and make a good-flavoured ice-cream.
"At some time in April, exactly when depending on the weather, the orchards and hedgerows become snow white with blossom - a wonderful sight to see. The fruit ripens in September and is sold from roadside stalls and in local shops."
The Westmorland Damson Association.
Marketing the damsons has become the job of the Westmorland Damson Association. They were formed in 1996 to restore the Westmorland damson orchards to their former glory, to promote the cultivation and use of Westmorland's damsons and much more. In 2000 they leased a 2 acre damson orchard. Each April thousands of visitors celebrate its Damson Day, started in the 1990s, a chance to buy damson ice cream, wine, pickled damsons, tarts, pies, cakes and damson cheese.
Westmorland Damson Association, High Cartmell Fold, Crosthwaite, Kendal, LA8 8HS +44(0)15395 68246, or email enquiries [at] lythdamsons. org. uk. They also have a web-site.
Apple Day Events
Where to get help
Orchards and Community Orchards to visit
Where to buy apples and orchard produce
Some Cumberland & Westmorland Fruit