Cobnut platts are a special and important landscape characteristic of the Kent Downs. Golding Hop Farm Orchard and Bewley Lane Orchard consist of open meadow, woodland and cobnut plats and are thought to date from between 1850 and 1920. These beautiful orchards support a wealth of wildflowers in the spring and early summer. They are managed traditionally to maintain a bowl shape to the trees and to encourage wildlife. The management of these two orchards is supported by Environmental Stewardship through Natural England. A cobnut is a kind of cultivated hazelnut, the Kentish Cobnut being the most common variety grown now. Once a thriving industry in Kent there are few cobnut platts left today. No more than 250 acres of old platts survive and the two orchards here probably amount to one of the largest single blocks of old cobnut platt remaining in the UK. Catkins appear on cobnut trees in February and the nuts are usually picked towards the end of September. Cobnuts are delicious and healthy containing high levels of protein, fibre, vitamin E and calcium in particular.
Click here for a site map of these two cobnut platts.
For details of a walk around the cobnut platts and orchards around Plaxtol call 01303 815170.
For more information about cobnuts and where to buy them visit www.kentishcobnutsassociation.co.uk