SLINDON welcomed more than 1,000 people from far and wide to celebrate the National Trust’s Apple Day.
The autumnal fête last Saturday celebrating all things apple and the field behind the Forge Shop was transformed for the day.
As well as live music, a farmers market and games, National Trust rangers pressed apples from local orchards and gardens using a traditional press and turned them into juice, some of which will be converted to artisan cider.
Katie Archer, a National Trust ranger, said: “It was such a fabulous day and so well supported by locals and visitors alike.
“The atmosphere created by the South Downs Folk Singers, Fishbourne Morris and bands such as Renegade Dogs and Said the Maiden was so fitting for a glorious autumnal day with a traditional English fête.”
Visitors were encouraged to lend a hand and try some freshly pressed juice, using the team’s own traditional rack and cloth press, made from local oak and a reclaimed screw. The press is so big, it had to be brought in by tractor.
It was a day for all ages, with fruit identification by experts, a massive display of apple cultivars, games such as skittles, coconut shy and apple bobbing, live folk music and a bar.
There was also apple-based cookery demonstrations from the Lewes-based Community Chef.
The farmers market was a success, with many of the stallholders completely sold out by the end of the day.
One stallholder, Lucie Payton, said: “I was overwhelmed by how well the market was received and delighted by how much I sold. I’ll definitely be back next year.”
Orchards were once a familiar sight throughout Britain, marking the passing seasons and sustaining long-lived traditions as well as providing food.
Katie added: “This Apple Day was a reminder of how delightful and significant these places can be, and the National Trust hopes that it will remind people how important orchards are in the local community, as well as a place to have lots of fun.”
The event was largely run by the small countryside ranger team, based at Slindon.
Volunteer Sam Thomas said: “There are 30 volunteers here today making this happen, and we all feel a very strong affinity towards Slindon.”
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