Members of the Royal Horticultural Society visit Roughway

Roughway Farm was absolutely delighted to host members of the Royal Horticultural Society to learn all things related to Kentish Cobnuts. The event was organised between the Kentish Cobnuts Association and Royal Horticultural Society working in partnership.

The day started with a brief introduction from John Cannon on the history of the farm and the 150 year old cobnut tree’s that have resided here. John has been growing cobnuts at Roughway Farm since the 1960’s and before then at Oxenhoath just down the road in West Peckham. Before this John farmed in Tasmania in Australia.

Shortly after this, members and guest were given the opportunity to venture out into the Cobnut plats. Here John and his granddaughter Maddie Cannon, who read crop science at the University of Nottingham, were able to showcase the different varieties of cobnuts on the farm (Kent Cobnuts, Ennis, Cosford).

The RHS members had some keen questions about everything from pruning to how to tell when cobnuts are ready to be picked! – The answer being when the edges just start to turn brown, but it never hurts to break the shells and taste the nuts themselves to pick them when best suits your preferences.

Whilst in the plat we were able to show off a 100 year cobnut tree (pictured above) on the farm. The suckers from this tree are being nurtured and regrown by the farm.

Discussing young tree management (pictured below) in a plat. Treat as if you would a large tree trying to create an open center within the middle of the tree.

John Cannon small growing cobnut tree

John Cannon explain you should leave about 7-9 leaders growing upwards.

let part of the cobnut tree to develop
cobnut field walk at roughway farm

The rain started to fall but it did not deter the RHS members and guests continue through to some of our younger nut plats at Roughway Farm.

Rain and cobnut plat in Kent at Roughway Farm
Close up of a kent cobnut during field visit

To escape from the rain we headed inside and John demonstrated his Australian macadamia nut cracker, excellent at cracking cobnuts!

cracking kent cobnuts

John also shared a great tip on eating cobnuts after cooking them in the microwave, see video below if you would like to try this alternative way of eating cobnuts!


For more guidance on managing your cobnut trees please visit the RHS website or the Kent Cobnuts Association website. See links below;

Kent Cobnut Association (KCA) Logo