Thursday 27 August 2015

Ampleforth Abbey and their apple orchards only 2 miles from us

NATURE’S BOUNTY: Top, Father Matthew Burns, picking the apples in the annual harvest in the orchard at Ampleforth College, Ampleforth, North Yorkshire; above, Tim Saxby, orchard manager. WORK IS under way to harvest the first apples at Ampleforth Abbey to be used in its new venture. Apples in year’s crop will go into the Ampleforth Abbey Apple juice range. It is a new product for the monks who have been producing the Ampleforth Abbey Cider for more than 10 years. It also produces Ampleforth Cider Brandy. Ampleforth Abbey, close to the village of the same name in North Yorkshire, was established in 1802 when monks returned to England, following a 200-year exile in France following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. The orchard now has some 2,000 trees and is home to more than 40 varieties of apples including the Ribston Pippin which has its origins at Ribston Hall near Knaresborough. With the area having enjoyed good conditions for apple growing earlier in the year there have been forecasts that the orchard could produce as much as 45 tonnes of fruit this year, triple last year’s figure. Monks are aided in the harvest by staff and pupils from Ampleforth College, the prestigious school founded by the monastery which has around 600 pupils. The orchard and cider mill is open to the public at points during the year with tours led by manager Tim Saxby. Ampleforth’s is one of the most northerly commercial orchards in the UK.