THE Mersey Morris Men and traditional activities helped Eastham County Park to celebrate Apple Day.
Apple Day is celebrated nationally at the beginning of the year’s apple harvest to help recognise and promote British apples and British orchards, the event at Eastham Country Park was organised and ran by Wirral Wildlife and Wirral Rangers service.
Ranger Alan Smail said: “We celebrate this every year, we want to teach people about the local varieties of apple that are available and we have samples of local apples for people to try and to learn more about.”
Wirral Wildlife volunteers were also joined by the Mersey Morris Men, a traditional Morris dancing group, who perform all over the north west. Andy Siddons, a member of the group, said: “We come down to Eastham’s Apple Day every year. We love being involved with it!”
As well as the dancing there were 20 types of locally produced apple for visitors to try, an old fashioned apple press to make apple juice and crafts for children. The Red Pippin, with its rich, sweet tart flavour, was the most popular apple of the day.
Linda Higginbottom, from Wirral Wildlife, said: “This is about the 19th year we’ve done this, we’ve had a bit of a poor year for apples as it was very wet in May and June, when the bees would normally be pollinating, we’ve only got twenty varieties this year, we normally have more. Recently we’ve been involved in the planting of three orchards locally.”
Simon Fox, a visitor to the event, said: “I come every year; it’s good to see all the local apples and have a taste. I love watching the Mersey Morris Men, it’s fantastic to watch a tradition not kept in favour, every year they try and recruit me; I might join!”