17th December 2013. URGENT- The nationally important and, in some ways, unique 200 year old Milton Wonder apple tree is under immediate threat. This would be equivalent to the loss of the original and still living Bramley tree, also 200 years old. The planning application that, if approved, would surely lead to the death of this tree will be decided at 18.30 on the 18th December, at the council chamber of Vale of the White Horse District Council. The planning office has decided to recommend acceptance of the plans. The planning committee will make the final decision tomorrow.


The planning application now before the Vale of White Horse District Council, P13/V1627/FUL seeks to remove several fruit trees in an old orchard, to accommodate two new houses and access, in the village of Milton, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. The current amended plans, no longer involve cutting down the Milton Wonder, but they would still almost certainly lead to its demise in a relatively short time. It is expected that further development plans will follow.

Many concerned individuals have made their objections known, but these have obviously counted for nothing with the planning officers. Local democracy is dead, unless the Planning Committee reject the plans. Conservation Areas appear to be worthless. National assets, nature and green areas seem to be of no consequence under the pressure to build more houses in rural areas. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan is clearly worthless under the discretion of planning officers. Although all the relevant bodies and individuals have been alerted, their responses have been disappointing. The last hope resides with the planning committee and the signs are not good.


If you would like to read all the submissions to the planning office then please click on the link below.

Select 'search by reference number' then pick '13' and go to ref P13/V1627/FUL

If you would then like to compare those comments with what appears in the report of the planning officer, you can download that report by clicking here. It is difficult to see how any planning officer can ignore so many powerful objections against. A big Thank You to all those who took the trouble to write.

It is long overdue that planners took old fruit trees and orchards seriously. It seems they do not and will not. We now await the final news on whether the Milton Wonder can survive or not. If the planning permission is granted we remain convinced that the tree will fall, will not be able to re-root from the trunk, will have its root system significantly damaged and will be conveniently neglected. It will die.

If you would like to know more about why the Milton Wonder is so very important, please visit www.miltonwonder.org.uk or call Derek or Judy on 01844 237415, or email on the link at the top of the page. You could also view www.bernwodefruittrees.co.uk/oldesttree.htm and the continuation pages for the full detail of the age and regeneration of this remarkable tree. There is also a shorter description under the entry for Milton Wonder, in the apple list - move the mouse over Apples, to the left.

Bernwode Fruit Trees is tucked away in a quiet spot in rural Buckinghamshire, close to the Oxfordshire border and between Oxford and Aylesbury. It is set in our old hay meadows, on the edge of the ancient Royal forest of Bernwode.



  - Just a small part of the 300+ different apples on display here. Come and see. The display will last as long as the apples last.  
  We collect, conserve, grow and sell traditional British fruit varieties. They are container grown, can be planted at any time of year and can be collected from the nursery or sent out by courier throughout the year. Please see opening times below.  
  Our range includes several hundred varieties covering apples, pears, plums, gages, cherries, vines, medlars, quinces, mulberries and some soft fruit. We also graft new trees from customers' own treasured old ones. Our trees are grafted on a range of rootstocks and customers can choose whichever is most suitable for the size of tree they want.  


The 84 page descriptive catalogue can be bought online, from this site, though there is no online ordering of trees, given the range and quickly changing availability. Our trees are rare and living things, which cannot be ordered up out of a warehouse. Customers are welcome to advice at the nursery or on the telephone.


Much of our work involves research and conservation of old varieties, ancient trees and orchards. If you have any knowledge of these, which you think would be of interest to us, please let us know. They are fast disappearing and time is pressing. Often, we advise private owners of trees and orchards on an informal basis, but we also undertake more formal consultancy on a fee-paying basis for larger and longer term projects. Please telephone for details.


January February March April May June July August September October November December
Months in blue - Open 10.00 to 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.
Also open bank holiday Mondays in blue months, but closed Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, inclusive.

Months in red - Closed, but we are usually here and visitors are welcome by prior arrangement.


CONTACT - Telephone: 01844 237415 Email: ask@bernwodefruittrees.co.uk
Bernwode Fruit Trees, Kingswood Lane, Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9RB