Glorious autumn weather enticed over 200 visitors to the village Apple Day at the Red Lion. This was the second Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Apple Day. Last year there had been an exhibition of the results of the Environment Group orchard and fruit tree survey. After such a success last year we suggested using the event to raise money for the St. Agatha’s Church Extension Appeal this year.
The pub had a record number of people for the apple themed Sunday lunch and the Orchard Market overflowed with visitors tasting and buying over 15 different varieties of apples, local traditional cider, jams and chutneys made with village fruit and local honey.
Fruit expert Paul Chilton, displayed an incredible 53 varieties of apples from the village, fruit many visitors will never have heard of - Annie Elizabeth, Golden Russet, Monarch, Newton Wonder, Lord Derby, Norfolk Beefing, Miller's Seedling, as well as the favourites, Blenheim Orange, Ashmead Kernel, Lord Lambourne and Spartan.
Over £700 was raised on the day including a generous contribution of takings from Viv Moll, Brightwell Bees and all sales of Harp Hill cider made in Little Wittenham by Andrew Lea. We would like to thank all those who gave their fruit to sell and juice and those who helped on Apple Day.
This enjoyable event has once again helped to promote the enormous harvest of fruit we have in our gardens and orchards. Paul still has a few apples to identify but it is clear we have at least 60 different varieties of apple in the village. A lot of these are trees over 100 years old. The newest trees in the village are in the orchard planted in the school earlier this year.With luck they will be producing fruit for next year's Apple Day.Alison Bloomfield
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