The Big Apple 2017
Hundreds of people joined us in celebrating English apples and cider in the 29th year of the Big Apple enjoying the autumn countryside and unseasonably warm weather in this corner of Herefordshire in and around Much Marcle.
Some of the activities happening over the weekend
We put together for you a collection of small rural events where visitors 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. Nine special venues in all, each one of them different but all with one thing in common – apples!
The programme was entirely flexible – you chose where and when to go for an afternoon, a day or a full weekend. Some simply came for a walk or to buy some apples.
See further down the page for special events that happened at the various venues over the weekends.
A tractor and trailer service, kindly provided by Westons Cider, was running all weekend carrying visitors between six of our venues. See map for route and stops.
The Harvestime Venues
These nine venues formed the core of our Harvestime event.
1. Woodredding Farm (GR640298)
2. Lyne Down Organics (GR648314) (HR8 2NT)
3. Avenue Cottage (GR649321) (HR8 2NU)
4. Westons Cider (GR648331)(HR8 2NQ)
5. Much Marcle Memorial Hall (GR658330)
6. St Bartholomew’s Church (GR657327)
7. Hellens (GR661333) (HR8 2LY)
8. Awnells Farm (GR658319) (HR8 2NW).
9. 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.
Pork and Two Veg Farm Shop, Woolhope HR1 4QL
Sat 10am to 5pm..
The Nest, Little Verzons, Munsley HR8 2PZ
Sat 9am to 5.30pm, Sun 10am to 4pm.
Three Counties Cider Shop, Ledbury, HR8 1BN
Sat only, 10am to 5pm
Lunches and Suppers
Our local pubs and restaurants often serve dishes using apple and cider recipes. Booking advisable .
In Much Marcle
Near Trumpet Crossroads
Over the two days there were special events and talks on the following topics
Saturday 14th October
11am to 5pm Annual Honey Show Herefordshire Beekeepers’ Association. Haywain Barn, Hellens* (Venue 7)
12noon and 2.30pm Our edible hedges. Guided tours of young fruit and nut groves and edible hedges which re-establish our field pattern. Avenue Cottage (Venue 3)
3.30pm High altitude cider tasting Pop-up tutored tasting with a view, with Ciderologist Gabe Cook. Avenue Cottage (Venue 3)
5pm Jean Nowell will unveil a sculpture of the eponymous Gregg’s Pit perry pear, carved by her son Max from Forest of Dean green stone. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 9)
5.30pm Vertical tasting A very special and rare opportunity to join the maker and Ciderologist Gabe Cook in tasting three vintages of a single variety perry: Gregg’s Pit in-bottle fermented Thorn ‘champagne’ perry. 15 tickets on sale at bar from 11am, 1st come, 1st served. £6.00. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 9)
7.45pm A Bushel of Pippins: a celebration of orchards and their fruit in poetry and prose, music and merriment. Function room at The Royal Oak, HR8 2ND. £5 on door.
*Admission charge to Hellens site applies
Sunday 15th October
10am to 1pm Japanese Woodblock Printmaking with artist/printmaker Rowan McOnegal. A short practical session introducing this water based printing technique from a culture with an acute sense of the seasons. Suitable for 18yrs +, booking essential, cost £20. Information & booking 01531 670075. Haywain Barn, Hellens* (Venue 7)
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 in the afternoon to Ledbury. Accompanied children welcome. Information 01531 635432.
10.30am Friends of the Dymock Poets. A ramble around Much Marcle, with poetry, prose and conversation. After coffee at Westons, head for the orchards, including Awnells and Gregg’s Pit (refreshments available). Return tractor ride available. Pay on day for refreshments. Meet Westons Car Park (Venue 4)
10.30am Birds, Bugs & Plasticine Grubs Walk and talk with PhD student Charlotte Selvey, who will share results from her research to explore potential natural pest control services in orchards. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 9)
11am High altitude cider tasting Pop-up tutored tasting with a view, with Ciderologist Gabe Cook. Lyne Down Organics (Venue 2)
12 noon and 2.30pm Our edible hedges – details as Saturday, Avenue Cottage (Venue 3)
1.30pm High altitude cider tasting Pop-up tutored tasting with a view, with Ciderologist Gabe Cook. Woodredding (Venue 1)
3.30pm Perry Pears: Walk, Talk & Taste Guided walk with James Marsden to learn about specific vintage fruit varieties and taste the finished products made from those varieties in 2016. Gregg’s Pit (Venue 9).
*Admission charge to Hellens site applies
Look out for your Big Apple favourites in this app which 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.