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Snowshill Apple Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:55 08 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:55 08 October 2015

Photos of previous Apple Festival at Snowshill Manor © National Trust-Paul Watson

Photos of previous Apple Festival at Snowshill Manor © National Trust-Paul Watson

Archant

The Apple Festival, from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October, will include a huge display of apple varieties as well as their many uses ranging from pies and chutneys to ciders and juices.

Photos of previous Apple Festival at Snowshill Manor © National Trust-Paul WatsonPhotos of previous Apple Festival at Snowshill Manor © National Trust-Paul Watson

Snowshill Apple Festival highlights hundreds of varieties

A particularly good year for growing apples thanks to a kind spring has led to a bumper celebration of hundreds of varieties of apples taking place at Snowshill Manor at their annual autumnal apple festival.

The Apple Festival, from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October, will include a huge display of apple varieties as well as their many uses ranging from pies and chutneys to ciders and juices.

Among the children’s games and celebrations, there will be talks on successful apple growing by a local nurseryman, a bee keeper who will bring a glass fronted bee hive and demonstrations of apple juicing by a cider maker.

Although Snowshill Manor’s two orchards are home to over 50 varieties of apple, the head gardener Vicky Cody has collected many other examples from other orchards and collections to bring well over 100 varieties to the festival.

A marquee on the lawn will display the huge range of apple varieties which are grown by organisation such as the National Trust, the Boulmer Collection and the Gloucestershire Orchard Group collection.

‘We want to encourage people to look at the many varieties of apple which exist – the vast majority of which can’t be found in supermarkets. We have eaters, cookers, crab apples and cider apples each of which can be used in a different way,’ said Vicky Cody, the National Trust’s head gardener at Snowshill Manor.

‘We use the apples from our orchard in the tea rooms and they will use each in different recipes depending on their flavour and texture. We can take them a basket full of something great for puddings but then they’ll ask for something a little sharper to go in the pork and apple sausages the next day.’

The National Trust catering team at the manor’s tea rooms have risen to the challenge of baking apples into pies, puddings, sausages and chutneys ahead of the apple festival.

‘This has been a good year for apples. When the blossoms were out there were no frosts and it stayed warm and dry. But once the blossom was set, it rained which allowed the fruit to develop well. We’ve had some very good crops here, some of which are sold to visitors.

‘There are some delightful surprises. We have Devonshire Quarrenden growing in the Snowshill manor orchard which is a tiny little thing, first recorded back in the 1670s. Barely an inch in diameter and deep red it is somehow packed with flavour, a bright little thing which is quite unexpected for its size.’

As well as growing and ensuring the survival of some rare apple varieties, the National Trust gardeners are aware of the environmental benefits of the old orchards at Snowshill Manor, which is home to a wide range of wildlife, including insects and the bats which feed on them.

More information on the apple festival is available on http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshillmanor

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