Apples are big in Much Marcle!

Apples are big in Much Marcle!

Cider presses are gearing up for action in a corner of Herefordshire, and Big Apple venues are standing by to welcome visitors to the Marcle Ridge on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October.  The apple harvest will be in full swing – no matter which way you turn in Much Marcle, apples are everywhere!  Not to mention pears – perry pears of course.

Big Apple harvest celebrationsNine familiar Big Apple venues, including Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Hellens, Gregg’s Pit and Awnells Farm, alongside regular attractions at Westons Cider, are waiting to welcome visitors to enjoy the orchards, see, hear and smell cider being made and taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices.  And don’t miss apple teas at the Memorial Hall!

Leominster Morris at Gregg's PitThis year’s highlights include the ever popular ‘high-altitude’ tutored cider tastings on the Marcle Ridge, giving a hand to press perry pears from the ancient avenue at Hellens Manor, and wheeling along with the Big Apple Bike Ride.  The National Fruit Show Education Team make their first visit, tickling taste buds with an apple challenge at Hellens.  Practical sessions on tool sharpening, the chance to buy refurbished garden tools and a talk from agronomist Matt Greep on apple pests and diseases are a ‘must’ for those who like to do things for themselves, while Bill Laws will share some of the pomological secrets behind his forthcoming book about the Herefordshire Pomona.  Tasty food offers and musical interludes including Uke Can’t Be Serious and Leominster Morris are to be found in and around the orchards.  Full details of venues and special events, and advance booking where required, can be found at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime/

The Big Apple is delighted to be working alongside others this year to place apples right at the heart of Herefordshire under the umbrella of Hereford AppleFest.

Blossomtime is back!

Blossomtime is back!

The buds are starting to burst on the apple trees, last autumn’s cider is getting ready to be tasted, and the time is fast approaching for Blossomtime in and around Putley in Herefordshire where the Big Apple has been welcoming visitors for thirty years.  Having cancelled this spring event in 2020 and 2021, the community organisation behind the Big Apple is delighted to be able to invite them back again on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 May.  “When we were able to hold our autumn event last October, visitors were enthusiastic about the opportunity to enjoy being out and about in the countryside”, said spokesman Jackie Denman.  “Our cider and perry community responded so positively when we managed to arrange a delayed Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials in July 2021.  Now we can bring it all together again, with a Grand Cider Tasting at Putley Parish Hall, time spent under the apple trees at Dragon Orchard, and one-off events at Court Farm Aylton and Pixley Festival Church.  The full programme is available online at www.bigapple.org.uk.  We can’t wait to get back!”

Elmley FoundationAs well as opportunities to taste a whole range of entries to the Cider and Perry Trials, cider and perry on sale will include artisan makers Artistraw Cider and Perry, Bartestree Cider, Gregg’s Pit Cider and Perry, Halfpenny Green Cider Company and Pope’s Perry.  Highlights include ‘#RethinkCider’, a talk from Jane Peyton, the UK’s first accredited ‘pommelier’ and founder of the School of Booze, and drop-in printmaking with Laughing Betsy, supported by the Elmley Foundation, using ‘kitchen lithography’ and inspired by objects and images on loan from local families associated with cidermaking and apple growing.   Three guided walks each day will tell the stories of the orchards in and around Putley – will it be Norman’s Gap, Dorothy’s Delight or Nigel’s Pride?  And, of course, there will be the usual delicious lunches and teas (and this time a brunch) provided by local community groups.

Jackie Denman
Secretary, Big Apple Association Ltd.
Tel. 01531 670544
www.bigapple.org.uk