Apple County Cider have put together an Orchard Walk, taking you over undulating land in the beautiful Monnow Valley. The walk follows public footpaths on a working farm, covers 3 miles and takes around 2 hours.
The walk begins through a woodland, taking you through to the orchard, where in the late 1960’s Jimmy McConnel created the terracing of the orchard, the first of its type in Britain. This was so unique at the time, the Ministry of Agriculture officials made an inspection and took notes on how it was done. This was the start of a change from mixed farming to fruit.
Walk through fields of blackcurrants where several varieties are grown over 100 acres. From the second week of July to mid August, these are mechanically harvested and sold for making juice. Varieties include Ben Alder, Ben Avon and Ben Gair; having been bred at The James Hutton Institute in Scotland they are prefixed ‘Ben’ (meaning mountain).
Passing through nature you will spot some of the 50 plus nesting boxes on the farm and a lake that was made to encourage wildlife. Water lilies, bulrushes, butterflies and dragonflies abound and there are ducks, moorhens and frogs in evidence.
Next, you will enter Ruthlin and pass Coedanghred Orchard, which is where the apples for Apple County Cider’ award winning cider is produced. The apples are harvested from the second week in September to the first week in December, and are transported to the farmyard for washing and pressing. The juice is stored in with added yeast and after racking, is pumped into barrels and taken to the bottling and labeling plant.
End the trip with a visit to their farm shop where you can taste their award winning cider, after experiencing how it is produced. Tasting the cider after experiencing where the apples are grown, will make you feel like you’re in the heart of Wales itself. Local produce at its finest.
Visit their website for more information and to purchase their products here. Pick up a leaflet with more details of the walk at their farm shop.