Cumbria Crack

Get to the core of which apple varieties grow in your garden

Apple varieties decorating the stone fireplace in Acorn Bank’s entrance hall. Picture credit: Heather Birkett.

Apple experts from across the North of England will be coming together for one day to lend their expertise to budding gardeners.

Apple Identification Day will be taking place on the 12th October at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, and members of the public are invited to bring along apples from their garden to find out which varieties grow at home.

“Lots of people have a mystery apple tree in their garden. This is a popular opportunity to put a name to the tree and find out about that variety’s history,” says Heather Birkett, Senior Gardener at the popular house and garden in Temple Sowerby, which was originally established by the Knights Templar.

From 11am to 4pm experts will not only be helping to identify mystery apples but also advising on how to care for the trees on which they grow. Anyone wishing to have their variety identified should bring three apples from each tree, along with some leaves from the plant. Information such as the location, age, and blossom colour of each tree could also prove useful. There is no maximum number of apples which can be identified.

Acorn Bank has 175 apple varieties in its orchard, and many are now available to buy with new apples ripening and becoming available every week until November.

“Acorn Bank’s apple collection helps to conserve many heritage varieties that are rarely seen in the shops,” says Mrs Birkett.

“We hope that by giving people access to these varieties and the skills used to look after them, more households will choose to grow a heritage apple variety in their own garden.”

The Apple Identification Day is just one event coming up there which aims to celebrate British apples. Visitors to the site can also take part in apple tasting days, orchard tours and harvest drop-in sessions throughout this autumn.

Apple Identification Day will take place 11am-4pm on Saturday 12th October, and is free to attend for National Trust members (admission applies for non-members: £8.80 for adults and £4.40 for children). For more information about Acorn Bank’s events, please check their website or call or email Heather on 017683 61467 or [email protected]

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