Apple bob along to Knowle Green!

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AWARD winning Longridge chef Paul Heathcote is passionate about local food - and is aiming to take on the challenge of cooking with heritage varieties of apples at the Forest of Bowland Apple Day to be held at Knowle Green village hall on Saturday, October 15.

Paul says: “Old varieties of fruit and vegetables have taste and quality that newer varieties, bred for ease of production, shelf life and appearance on supermarket shelves may lack.

“Each apple variety has a different character and rewards sensitive and individual attention - just like people!’’

Paul Heathcote’s flagship Longridge Restaurant will be celebrating Apple Day with special themed menus.

Steve Edwards, pictured with Paul Heathcote, is a Project Officer for Lancashire County Council working in the Environment and Community Projects section, and apart from his normal work has been helping save local apple varieties as well as delivering advice on planting and pruning for several years.

Apple expert Phil Rainford, a member of the ‘Northern Fruit Group’, will be on hand at the Festival Bowland Apple Day event to identify apples that people bring along.

There are many apples suitable for growing in the western half of the county and in the photograph are apples Queen, Charles Ross and Scotch Bridget which Phil says was once a popular variety, highly regarded for making apple chutney and mincemeat. Paul Heathcote is planning to use some this Christmas for a very special batch of puddings.

The Apple Day event from 10am to 4pm will feature apples, jam, chutney, honey, cakes, cider from Ribble Valley’s first commercial cider maker Dove Syke Cider Company, decorated glassware, apple crushing (for juice), apple identification and apple growing advice with some things to entertain children all with an apple theme.

Paul Heathcote will be cooking around 11.15am and signing copies of his books later.

Apple Days were ‘invented’ over 20 years ago by campaigning group Common Ground to celebrate local diversity - around the same time that Paul Heathcote was writing his first book ‘Rhubarb and Black pudding’ which celebrates British food and growers.