FAMILY ~ APPLES ~ FARMING
North Down Farm is a third generation cider farm situated in the South of Somerset, growing apples for nearly 50 years just outside Haselbury Plucknett.
Bought by Robert Mangles in 1968, he initially tried farming pigs and growing oats, but with limited success. All changed when he first planted orchards for Taunton Cider in 1973, which are still cropping well to this day.
We now grow nearly 30 different varieties of apple, including Dabinett, Somerset Redstreak, and Yarlington Mill. We’re also continuing to plant more orchards, with many old heritage varieties, some of which are very rare.
As well as using the apples to make our own cider for The Cider Barn, we also supply craft cidermakers all over the UK and as far afield as Poland and Canada. Our apples have gone into many award winning ciders, from traditional farmhouse styles to the finest of fine ciders.
We farm without the use or artificial fertiliser of chemical pesticides, and we try to give back to the land more than we take away, leaving a healthier and more resilient ecosystem for the next generation. We’re always looking for ways to work with nature rather than against it, creating habitats for beneficial insects and birds, such as letting the grass grow to maturity under the trees, and not flailing our hedges. This way we can control pests and diseases in the orchards whilst also benefiting wildlife and the soil, helping to protect the ecosystem, and sequester carbon in the ground.