Bath and West Accolade for Herefordshire’s Big Apple founder

Jackie Denman receives Gold Award at Bath and West ShowJackie Denman, the founder and driving force behind the Herefordshire ‘Big Apple’ festivals has been awarded a Gold Medal for a Lifetime Contribution to the Cider Industry by the Royal Bath and West Show.

Mrs Denman, who started the Big Apple in the village of Putley in 1989, received her award from Bath and West Chief Executive, Rupert Cox, in the Orchards and Cider Pavilion on the first day of the Show.

“I am not sure whether I am more pleased or more surprised”, said a delighted Jackie. “But I like to think that this is recognition not just of my efforts over the years, but of the whole team of people, including the apple growers and cider-makers of our corner of Herefordshire, who have made the Big Apple what it is.”

Orchards and Cider Chief Steward, Bob Chaplin, paid tribute to Jackie’s efforts, which he said had been “very influential in stimulating and encouraging new young producers to set up and engage with their peers and the public”. The Big Apple has also played a fundamental role in getting the wider local community behind their fruit-based heritage.

“In all of this, Jackie was not only the originator – she has been the catalyst and driving force. It has been a collective effort in the best traditions of local community endeavour. But she has been the champion.”

Harvestime Weekend 2018

This will be over the weekend of October 13th and 14th in and around Much Marcle.

Details of the previous Harvestime event are on the Harvestime 2017 page.  We expect that 2018 will be similar.

Blossomtime Weekend 2018

Our annual Blossomtime celebration took place as usual over the May Day bank holiday weekend of Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May 2018.  Weather was brilliant!

If you missed it make a note of next year’s date:  Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May 2019.

Cider and Perry Trials

These took place on Saturday 5th May 2018 at Putley Parish Hall.

Details and results on The Cider and Perry Trials page


Jean Nowell

One of the founder members of The Big Apple Association and someone who had a significant influence of the resurgence of craft cider and perry making over the last 25 years, Jean Nowell, died on 5th November.  We will miss her greatly.

An appreciation is on the Jean Nowell page.


Marcle Ridge Country

Another good reason to come to the Big Apple is simply to enjoy this wonderful stretch of countryside. Woodlands, soft fruit fields, hopyards and grazing pastures mix with the orchards to create a lovely farming patchwork.  The slopes of the Marcle Ridge offer splendid views across to the Malvern Hills to the east, while Woolhope in the west lies within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There is no better way to explore our deeply rural county than through its food and drink and apples and cider are at its heart. Herefordshire has more orchards than any other county and is the source of over half the UK’s cider production. For us the Marcle Ridge and the Big Apple are what Herefordshire is all about.  Over the last 25 years, the number of craft food and drink producers of all kinds has truly blossomed in our local communities, providing a special experience for our visitors that is integral to the enjoyment of our rural heritage and landscape.

If you want to stay for a day or two our accommodation page has a range of suggestions.

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