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Meet the growers: Robert and James Lane

Robert Lane has been growing apples for Thatchers Cider for almost 20 years at his mixed farm in Ilminster, South Somerset.

With an almost perfect climate in the cider-loving county for cultivating bittersweet apples, Robert grows both Dabinett and Redstreak for us on 50 acres, apples that we love in our blends for their tannins and body.

“We work closely with Thatchers to supply the apples they want, in the way they want them. Quality comes first every time,” says Robert.

“Attending the annual apple growers day at Myrtle Farm is a really beneficial experience. It’s full of useful information and inspires us. It’s always a motivation to really look after the apples and keep the quality high, as we know they’ll be going into a fantastic end product that people love.”

With orchards full of wildlife, Robert is a firm believer in looking after the environment. Always do the best you can to protect the world around you, he says. Look after the soil, and the trees work hard for you in return!

It’s not just apples that Robert Lane has in common with Thatchers. He’s part of a generational farming family too, with the new generation now beginning to make its mark.

Son James works on the farm, having been to agricultural college, inspired to explore new ways of taking the business forward.

“James is a real innovator,” says Robert. “He’s keen on using technology to help efficiency. And as our business develops through the generations, we’re looking forward to keeping the supply of apples on the road to Myrtle Farm.”

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