Hereford Orchards Network of Excellence
Herefordshire Orchards Network of Excellence

Welcome to HONE

Do you grow cider fruit? Or, do you make cider and have an interest in how your apples are produced? In January of 2011, the Herefordshire Orchards Network of Excellence (HONE) was set-up to help take new (and some very old) ideas in cider fruit production to farmers’ fields in the form of supported trials and to facilitate the sharing of these ideas as well as best practice. The project hopes to establish a strong and lively network of growers and cider makers who can work together to ensure the industry continues to flourish long into the future.

The network was officially launched in a hall full of 50 growers in March 2011 and continues to grow, now with more than 150 members. To join this growing network, click on the link above this text box. You do not need to be based in Herefordshire to receive news and share ideas. You can also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter - just click on the link above, or for Facebook, go to!/groups/email.hone/

  Project activities
HONE supports and coordinates a small catalogue of field experiments, trialling fresh ideas and techniques in cider apple growing. It also organises events to encourage the sharing of best practice with other network members and raise the knowledge-level amongst growers of key sustainability issues likely to affect them in the future.

The main activity streams of the project are;
• Generating new ideas and remembering old ones that might be relevant now
• Running and funding a series of orchard trials
• Dissemination of news, results and other research
• A series of workshops and seminars on trial topics and other sustainability topics of interest
• Linking with communities around orchards to communicate the project work and emphasise the role orchards play

Some of the work that has already come-out of HONE can be found to the left as downloadable documents. Please feel free to use and share these amongst whomever you like.

Similarly, if you have something you would like to share with the HONE network and possibly put on the HONE website, please contact Emily (project manager) with the details.

Phone: +44 (0) 7768 950 249 Email:

The success of networks like HONE rely on those they aim to help taking an active role and volunteering their ideas and time where possible.


  Some project background

HONE is hosted by the Bulmer Foundation, a charity based in Hereford working to promote sustainable development and sustainable practices in Herefordshire and beyond. HONE is formed of a Project Manager (Emily Durrant) and a Steering Committee of volunteers who meet quarterly to offer advice on the direction of the project and monitor its progress. HONE is part funded by the European Union (EAFRD) and Defra through the VITAL Herefordshire LEADER programme, with Heineken UK providing the essential match-funding.

HONE would like to thank all the Steering Committee members for their time and support. HONE would also like to thank Thomas Broué for volunteering on the project full time for two months.

  Richard Heathcote of Heineken UK and Chair of the NACM Sustainable Futures Committee is positive that a project like HONE is just what the industry needs;

“Times are changing and the industry needs to stay ahead. Climate change and unstable oil prices are real concerns for us and changes in environmental legislation are an added motivation to find alternatives to current practice.

“We [cider industry] have a good track record when it comes to sustainability and are exploring several orchard research projects to help, but all these ideas need sense-checking with those who will actually use them – the growers.

“Heineken is supporting HONE with funding and technical assistance, we need to look after our growers so that they can look after our apples” said Richard.

  Contact me with any thoughts or questions on:

Emily V Durrant
Project Manager - HONE
Telephone: +44 (0)7768 950 249


This project was part funded by the European Union (EAFRD) and Defra through the VITAL Herefordshire LEADER programme

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