Cumbrian house celebrates Apple Day

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Apples are just part of the fabric at Acorn Bank.

The stately home near Temple Sowerby has one of the largest collections of heritage apple trees in the land, full of varieties rarely seen in modern Britain, and its owners share their enthusiasm for all things apple each year with families.

Once again they held their famous Apple Day at the weekend giving youngsters the chance to sample some fruit-themed fun.

The event started back in 1994 and has been held at the National Trust-owned site almost every year since.

It's become one of the most popular events in its calendar attracting thousands of visitors to the historic house, watermill and gardens.

"It's a big celebration of everything and anything to do with apples," said Amy McGowan, Acorn Bank's operations manager.

The day is billed as a vibrant country festival offering a true taste of ‘olde England’.

Those who went along to the event on Sunday could take part in a wide variety of activities.

They included pruning demonstrations, apple identification, tasting, trees for sale and the longest peel competition.

"Members of the North Cumbria Orchard Group and members of the public can come with their apples and people can have a go at formally identifying them," Amy added.

"We do also have a lot of stall holders who turn out and selling, of course, local cider, Cumbrian pies and lots of other local food. Plus there was traditional family entertainment, a samba band and good old-fashioned family fun.

"It was very popular again, it was busy."

The Eden area is seen by experts as having a challenging climate for growing apples but there is a history of apple growing in the region going back many centuries.

Last year about 170 different varieties were planted, including local ones such as Forty Shilling and the Lemon Square.

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