Chance to swap spare garden apples for cider

Thistly Cross Cider could help if you have a glut of apples this year
Thistly Cross Cider could help if you have a glut of apples this year

The Thistly Cross cider plant at Dunbar has launched a campaign offering to swap apples from trees in gardens for either cider or apple juice.

Last year, a similar appeal yielded more than 160 tonnes of apples, and this year it is hoping for an even better response from the public.

One of the things that makes Thistly Cross Cider unique is its blend of Scottish heritage apples, hand-pressed on Belton Farm in East Lothian, establishing a tradition of using apples grown across the country from a wide range of sources, including schools, professional apple growers, estate owners and the general public.

Proud of its Scottish roots and northern heritage, Thistly Cross invites the public to donate their spare fruit.

Peter Stuart, head cidermaker at Thistly Cross said: “This year’s harvest is looking bountiful.

“As apple donations are already flooding in, we’re hoping to exceed the 2015 crop.

“Thistly wants to give Scottish fruit a chance to really prove itself. We can’t make all the cider we want without the help of the public.

“Every year, we accept fruit donations from all over Scotland, ranging from a bucketful to a truckload, and to say thank you, we offer the choice of cider or apple juice in return”.

By using as much locally-sourced fruit as possible, Thistly eliminates the waste all too often associated with the food industry of modern times.

Apple growers can also help by donating unwanted excess apples that would otherwise go to waste.

Peter continued: “We’re on a Thistly mission to combat food waste and encourage everyone to get involved.

“We also hope to encourage the planting of fruit trees and orchards across Scotland, especially heritage varieties and those less commonly found in commercial growing.”

Apple donations of at least 7kg are welcomed for swapping at Thistly’s drop-off point at its store at Belhaven Fruit Farm, Thistly Cross Roundabout, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1RG just off the A1 outside Dunbar.

It’s open regular hours seven days a week, though lunchtimes can be busy and so are best avoided by fruit donors, it says.