Cider presses are well into action in this corner of Herefordshire, and Big Apple venues are once again standing by to welcome visitors to the Marcle Ridge on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October. The apple harvest is in full swing, and no matter which way you turn in Much Marcle, apples are everywhere! Not to mention pears – perry pears of course.
Nine 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, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices. And don’t miss apple teas at the Memorial Hall!
This year’s highlights include giving a hand to press perry pears from the ancient avenue at Hellens Manor, discovering edible hedges, wheeling along with the Big Apple Bike Ride and tasting Jolly G’s Golden Guernsey Goat Milk Ice Cream. The ever popular ‘high-altitude’ tutored cider tastings are back on the Marcle Ridge, with musical interludes from Uke Can’t Be Serious and Leominster Morris. Practical sessions on maintaining orchards and wildflower areas with the traditional craft of scything, tool sharpening, and the chance to buy refurbished garden tools are a ‘must-do’ for those who like to do things for themselves. Talks on ‘Cider Country’, ‘John Philips, Hereford’s Georgian cider poet’ and the search for lost varieties of perry pears round off the programme. Full details of venues and special events, and advance booking where required, can be found at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2022/
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.
Secretary, Big Apple Association Ltd.
Tel. 01531 670544
The apples are coming in, the presses are at work, and it’s almost that time when the Big Apple has welcomed visitors to the Herefordshire parishes of the Marcle Ridge for the past thirty years. But, sadly, not in 2020. The event, which was scheduled for 10th and 11th October, has been cancelled. The community organisation behind the Big Apple had come up with a programme and a delivery plan designed to keep the event within COVID-19 secure guidelines, but the latest changes proved a step too far.
“We’ve been outrun by the virus”, said spokesman Jackie Denman.
“We’d like to thank the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council for their advice and support – they really tried to help us make it happen. In the end, the decision to cancel was our own. The timing just wasn’t right.”
Messages of support followed the announcement late last week.
“Everyone agreed that we had made the right decision, but they also took the trouble to tell us that we would be much missed.”
This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards in this special corner of Herefordshire, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar for many people. Apple growers and cider makers depend heavily on events for sales of their produce, and almost all had already been cancelled.
“We tried so hard to keep the Big Apple going, especially because we were almost the only apple event in this part of the country that was still in this year’s calendar. We’ve put a special area on our website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2020/, with information about the local producers that would have been there, and some ways to get hold of their produce.”
Many familiar Big Apple venues are there, including Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Westons, Dragon Orchard and Jus Apple Juice.
The Big Apple has started to plan its events for 2021, including Blossomtime on 2nd/3rd May and Harvestime on 9/10th October.