Picture gallery: Community reap the benefits at Saffron Walden Community Apple Picking Day

Chris Stringer

Chris Stringer - Credit: Archant

Over a tonne of apples were collected in a community initiative to produce a unique local cider at the weekend.

Over a tonne of apples were collected in a community initiative to produce a unique local cider at the weekend.

The inaugural Saffron Walden Community Apple Picking Day was hailed a “fantastic success” with people from all over the district joining together to collect apples for the project.

The apples was delivered to Chris Stringer, landlord of The Axe, which will sell the cider to help raise money for local charities.

The organisers were “overwhelmed” with the enthusiasm from people in the community “who have a surplus of apples and were willing to share”.

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Co-ordinator Giles Bryant, of the World Healing Project which instigated the initiative, said: “People have reacted to this idea with so much positivity and it has created momentum for more local food sharing projects. People have been happy to donate because they don’t like to see food going to waste and want to help the community.

“We’ve all become so used to having to pay for for everything in life, but food can be free - and sharing is caring.

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“One contributor took hundreds of her apples to a local school and the children were taught how to make apple crumble. Another has taken them to an old people’s home.”

MP Sir Alan Haselhurst also got involved, picking apples from his garden for the project. Sir Alan said: “There is a lot more emphasis on local produce these days with people appreciating it more. I’m delighted to hear that people have caught on to it.”

The project has also re-awakened the idea of a community orchard in the town. Discussions are underway to plant more apples trees this year.

• If you have apples to spare, would like to volunteer to pick for the community, or would like more information about the apple workshop visit worldhealingproject.com, the facebook group Saffron Walden Community Apple Picking or call 07740 663493.

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