Sang de bœuf, Reinette de Russie, Pomme Henry, Maurtinée... the names of the varieties planted at the beginning of November in Haugimont may mean nothing to you. They are just a few examples of the 25 old varieties of apple tree grafts chosen. These varieties come from the collection of the CRA-W, the Centre de Recherche Agronomique de Wallonie. "Each variety planted has at least three individuals," explains Simon Hauser, the estate manager, "and the 80 new apple trees were planted in the gaps that had opened up in recent years in the original layout of the estate's orchard, planted at the time in 10 x 10 metre squares.

The Haugimont Estate's 11 hectares of orchards of old varieties of high-stemmed apple trees were planted in 1938 (well before the University of Namur acquired the estate in 1978). These trees are now 83 years old, and have been affected by climate change and the development of mistletoe. Every year, around ten trees die. It was therefore important to rejuvenate them.

Since the University acquired the estate, trees have been planted on a regular basis. "Two conservatory orchards (places where the genetic diversity of old varieties is preserved) were planted in 2016, in collaboration with the CRA-W. They have joined the Walloon Network of Conservatory Orchards," explains Simon Hauser.

The Haugimont Estate orchard is the largest organic high-stem orchard in Wallonia, with 600 trees. The grassland at the foot of the apple trees is grazed by sheep belonging to the Ovine Research Centre of Unamur's Department of Veterinary Medicine.

The apples grown on the estate are sold on the local market. Every autumn, the general public is invited to come and pick a third of the fruit during the traditional "maraude". Another third is sold to our partner Reinette & Co in exchange for maintenance work in the orchard, and the final third is made into juice, which is available at the UNamur bursar's office and at events organised by the Arsenal.

The Haugimont Estate, an outstanding site

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The site has a total of 56.5 hectares of meadows, including 11 hectares of organically farmed orchards. These meadows and the entire estate are listed as a Site of Great Biological Interest (SGIB) due to the presence of rare species and natural environments. The area is subject to regular inventories and specific maintenance. Three ponds, created in the grazed areas, help to strengthen the ecological network of the site.

The Haugimont Estate is located in the heart of the Condruzian countryside, 18 km from Namur city centre. Since 1978, it has been an exceptional teaching and research centre for university students and scientists. It is also open to the public and to schools for training, nature discovery, and leisure activities.

Find out more (in French) about the Haugimont Estate

Bandeau Haugimont