Isle of Wight Apple People and Places

Chris and Barney Barnes at Afton Park

Afton Park - continued

Chris and Barney Barnes had already became interested in buying Afton Park from Les Smith, running the orchard and also developing the site as a Plant Nursery.

They revived and grew the interest in Apple Days developing into a very successful Apple weekend every September.  In 2004 South Today broadcast from the garden, followed by a very large number of visitors for that weekend.  They started The Apple Tree Cafe to make and bake all things 'apple related'.  A very happy and busy ten years.

Apple Weekend Display 2006

Over the ten years they also created a beautifully designed and planted garden, full of inspirational ideas and surrounded by crab apple hedges. 
Among other attractions there was a wild flower meadow with paths cut in the long grass for walking, a Willow Story House for children and a Plant Nursery stocked with items growing in the gardens and many other plants.  There was also a small ‘Cottage Garden’ where food and drink purchased in the Apple Tree Café could be enjoyed.

Afton Park Garden in 2005

New apple trees were planted reflecting the Isle of Wight heritage, Isle of Wight Pippin, Howgate Wonder, Sir John Thorneycroft and Isle of Wight Russet.  Also interesting and less usual apples were planted along a series of arches, Newton Wonder, St Edmund’s Russet, Gloster 69, and Norfolk Royal among others.  The orchard developed but kept its very special character.

In 2006 Afton Park was bought by Paul and Michaela Heathcote and is now known as The Apple Farm.