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UK: North Yorkshire apple growers hopeful of bumper harvest

Apple growers in an area known as the Orchard of North Yorkshire are hopeful April's warm weather could herald the best crop in years. Growers said high pressure and sunshine meant bees have been more active and flowers had longer to be pollinated.

The National Trust said the mild winter and warm weather meant apple blossom had appeared earlier than usual. It cares for traditional apple orchards across the county, including at Beningbrough Hall, near York, and Nunnington Hall near Helmsley.

Nunnington Hall's head gardener Nick Fraser said: "We're into the sixth week of lockdown now and people are craving nature. Perhaps one of the reasons why this year's blossom seems so spectacular is that we're all paying closer attention to it, we're taking time to properly stop and look and reflect."

However, growers expressed concern that the fine weather could eventually prove problematic for the artisan drink industry, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The BBC reported that, left with 20,000 litres of last year's drinks due to pubs being closed and events being cancelled during lockdown, Mr Smith said if there were huge numbers of apples this year then cider producers would struggle to find space to store them.

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