Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Hundreds flock to apple day

MORE than 500 people attended this year’s apple day at Cross Lanes fruit farm in Mapledurham.

MORE than 500 people attended this year’s apple day at Cross Lanes fruit farm in Mapledurham.

Visitors were able to sample many of the 68 varieties of apples, plum and pears grown in the farm’s orchards and pick their own fruit.

There was also a display of vintage apple peelers dated as far back as the start of the 20th century, which children used to peel their own fruit.

Mapledurham Watermill shop was one of the businesses to have a stall there, selling apple pie cooking kits. Othwer stalls sold cakes, muffins and jellies, local cider and plants.

Guitarist and singer Colin Williams, from music group Hall of Sound, entertained the visitors and Goring, Woodcote and District Lions Club held its annual conker challenge.

Visitors were also taught by bee-keepers about their role in apple growing and about research into earwig control.

Gill Franklin, who owns the farm with her husband Dennis, said the number of visitors was down by about 2,000 due to the poor weather but appreciated those who still turned up.

She said: “The weather was a bit of a nuisance but people are very resourceful and came dressed for it.

“Everyone who came seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. British people are very adaptable and put on their wellies and waterproofs so they could come.

“It’s just a pity because people look forward to it all year round. But it meant that people ate a lot of tea and cakes did a lot of the indoor activities instead.”

Mrs Franklin, who has been running the event for 26 years, said it was important to educate people on the different varieties of English apples.

“They are amazed at all the varieties and every time they come here there are different ones,” she said.

“So many people are unaware of the richness and diversity of English apples.”

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