Cider making celebration ties off Great Big Green Week

Two images: Left - Cockapoo Molly guards an apple; Right - Pouring apples into a press at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

Apple pressing at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Cider is set to flow at The Railway Arms after an apple pressing event on Saturday (September 25).

Environmental activists hosted the event to cheers Great Big Green Week, a national event celebrating action against the climate crisis running from September 18-26.

Several hundredweight of apples were pressed at the Saffron Walden pub with volunteers called up to rinse the apples, sort them, and feed them into the scratter to produce a juicy pulp.

Children have a rummage through brightly coloured buckets for apples at The Railway Arms

Many hands make light work when it comes to apple pressing at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Taking turns to use an apple press at The Railway Arms

Apple pressing at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

John pours a bucket of apples into a scratter before they are pressed at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

John feeds the apples into the scratter before they are pressed at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Organiser Edward Gildea said the event was a Great Big Green Week highlight.

He said: "It remains to be seen whether the Great Big Green Week becomes an annual event in Saffron Walden.

"The nine-day event certainly showed that while we must look after our environment, we can thoroughly enjoy our it."

A cockerpoo, Molly, guards her apple outside The Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden

Cockerpoo Molly guards her own apple while the others are pressed at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

13-year-old Hermione and 15-year-old Noah help wash the apples at the Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

Hermione, 13, and Noah, 15, help wash the apples at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Volunteers on an apple pressing production line at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

A pressing production line at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

The festival began with an Eco Market on Saffron Walden Common on Saturday, September 18.

Noakes Grove in Sewards End held an open day. St Mary's and Abbey Lane churches held church services to reflect on the importance of the environment.

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The week also featured talks from the Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital in Cambridgeshire and woodland experts in Ashdon.

The Railway Arms supported the programme with music and meet and greet sessions throughout the week.

A singing duo - Sally and Mandy, or SAND - perform on stage at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

Sally & Mandy - SAND - bring music to The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Sally sings on stage at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

Sally - half of SAND - performs at a Great Big Green Week event at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

An apple in front of two empty demijohns ready for the pressing process

From apples to juice - demijohns ready for filling with fresh apple juice - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Edward said Great Big Green Week aimed to generate an interest in the climate crisis ahead of the UN's Climate Change Conference - COP26 - in Glasgow this November.

Edward said: "The event will raise interest, awareness and political pressure ahead of COP26.

"It is a way of getting people feeling connected with the natural world so that COP26 feels more meaningful when it comes around."

The Climate Coalition is behind the national event.

Fiona Dear, The Climate Coalition's Head of Campaigns, said: "Action against climate change is the fight that unites people across the East of England.

"Hundreds of us are getting together to stand up against its awful effects."

A man hard at work, sorting apples for pressing at The Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden

Sorting apples for pressing at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Seasoned apple pressers at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

Apple pressing at the Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

Edward Gildea makes an announcement on stage at The Railway Arms

Edward Gildea, who organised Saffron Walden's Great Big Green Week events at the Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

A team of people wash and peel apples ready for scratting and pressing at The Railway Arms, Saffron Walden

A team effort to wash and sort the apples before scratting and pressing - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

There are ongoing concerns around the climate crisis and its impact on fruit and vegetable harvests.

Think tank Chatham House released a report this month claiming crop harvest could decline by 30 percent without "dramatic emission reductions".

Bags and buckets filled with apples outside The Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden

Assorted apples in bags and buckets at The Railway Arms - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

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