This is the page for 2015 which is still here for archival purposes.  If you are looking for the latest page please select Harvestime from the main menu!

Welcome To The Big Apple 2016

Over a thousand people joined us in celebrating English apples and cider in the 28th year of the Big Apple – a real opportunity to enjoy the autumn countryside in this corner of Herefordshire in and around Much Marcle on a fine and often sunny weekend.  If you missed it, make a note of the 2017 dates: 14th and 15th October.

We shared our tradition of apple growing and cidermaking

We put together a collection of small rural events where many enjoyed our local orchards, famous for their cider fruit and excellent eating apples.

In this unique event, we opened our farms and orchards, cider mills and barns for you to visit.

Eight special venues in all, each one of them different but all with one thing in common – apples!

Some of the activities around Much Marcle

Cider Pressing at Awnells Farm

golden-fireGolden Fire

A brand new app that pulls together the rich history of cider production in Herefordshire since 1945 with films, archive footage, photography, oral histories and an up-to-date guide to all the ciders being made in the county today.

Search in the Apple and Android app stores for “Golden Fire” to download this free app.

Created by The Rural Media Company with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund.






The Harvestime Venues

These eight venues formed the core of our Harvestime event.

1. Woodredding Farm (GR640298)

2. Avenue Cottage (GR649321) (HR8 2NU)

3. Westons Cider (GR648331)(HR8 2NQ)

4. Much Marcle Memorial Hall (GR658330)

5. St Bartholomew’s Church (GR657327)

6. Hellens   (GR661333) (HR8 2LY)  

7. Awnells Farm (GR658319) (HR8 2NW)

8. Gregg’s Pit  (GR662323) (HR8 2NL)


Other apple & cider related venues

Much Marcle Village Shop HR8 2LX Sat 7.30am to 6pm, Sun 8.45am to 12.30pm.

The Slip Tavern HR8 2NG (now re-opened; meal service in 2017)

Pork and Two Veg Farm Shop, Woolhope HR1 4QL Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 2pm.

The Nest, Little Verzons, Munsley HR8 2PZ Sat 9am to 5.30pm, Sun 10.30am to 4pm.

Three Counties Cider Shop, Ledbury, HR8 1BN Sat only, 10am to 5pm

Special events

Over the two days we ran a series of special events and talks on the following topics

Saturday 8th October

From 10.30am to 5pm. Orchard Printmaking with artist/printmaker Anneliese Appleby. Have a go printing a card with images of apples and pears. Suitable for children from 3+yrs. No experience required. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 8).

From 11am to 5pm. A Trio of Perry Pears Sculptor Max Nowell will be working on the last of three stone perry pears, ultimately destined for the Yew Tree Inn at Peterstow. Hellens (Venue 6).

From 11am. Make your own cider. Don’t waste those apples and cider fruit that normally rot at the bottom of the garden, contact Matt on 01432 860 468 and book a slot to use their cider press for just a small charge to make your own cider! Crown Inn Woolhope.  (New item not in printed programme)

From 11.30am. Leominster Morris at Westons (11.30am), Gregg’s Pit (12.30pm), Hellens (3pm).

12noon and 2.30pm. Our edible hedges. Guided tours of young fruit and nut groves and edible hedges. Avenue Cottage (Venue 2).

2pm. Bees and Blossom Beekeeper and photographer Gregory Fisk will talk about honeybees and their contribution to the environment – with some tips on photographing bees. Haywain Barn, Hellens (Venue 6).

3.30pm. What’s my name? Armed with the list of varieties, but in the absence of a planting plan, Marcher Apple Network specialist Mike Porter will talk through the process of identifying some of the apple trees planted outside the Great Barn at Hellens.  Haywain Barn, Hellens (Venue 6).

5pm. Little Owls and Herefordshire Orchards. Helen McSweeney-Atkins and Jemima Parry-Jones from the International Centre for Birds of Prey at Newent will talk about their project to encourage members of the declining Little Owl population to take up residence in Herefordshire orchards. Haywain Barn, Hellens (Venue 6).

7pm. Golden Fire. Celebrate the history and success of Herefordshire cider with Golden Fire, a new documentary film from The Rural Media Company celebrating the county’s signature drink from 1945 plus archive footage from 1940s to 1970s.  Question and answer session with local cider producers – Gabe Cook, Simon Day, James Marsden, Jean Nowell and Helen Thomas chaired by Toni Cook . Cider bar. £6.50 on the door, to include ploughman’s and first drink. Much Marcle Memorial Hall (Venue 4).


Sunday 9th October

10 for 10.30am. Big Apple Bike Ride.  Market House, Ledbury at 10am, leave 10.30.  Follow quiet country lanes, visiting cider producers and orchards.  BYO picnic or enjoy Big Apple catering.  Explore Big Apple, returning pm to Ledbury.  Accompanied children welcome. For further information please call 01531 635432.

From 11am. ‘Uke Can’t Be Serious’ will be popping up with their ukuleles throughout the day at different venues.  11.00-12.00 Avenue Cottage, (Venue 2) 12.30-1.30 Woodredding Farm (Venue1), 2.00-3.00 Much Marcle Memorial Hall (Venue 4),  3.30 – 4.30 Hellens (Venue 6).

11.30am. Birds, Bugs & Plasticine Grubs Guided walk with PhD student Charlotte Selvey, who will share research methods she has used to explore potential natural pest control services in orchards. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 8).

12 noon and 2.30pm. Our edible hedges – details as Saturday. Avenue Cottage (Venue 2).

2pm. Bees and Beekeeping Through the Year Talk by Colin Pavey, Bee Inspector and President of Herefordshire Beekeepers’ Association.  Haywain Barn, Hellens (Venue 6).

 3.30pm. Perry Pears: Walk, Talk & Taste Guided walk with James Marsden to learn about specific named varieties and taste the finished products made from the same varieties in 2015. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 8).