From the first year at Roots and Shoots in 1999 David wanted to increase the presence of Apples both in the Wildlife Garden and at Roots and Shoots in general. At that time there was only one apple tree in the garden – a ‘family apple’ planted near to where the Children’s Shelter is now. The apiary was disused along the greenhouse side of the garden and there was an aim in the first year to re-instal hives. As part of the design for the garden in this area – close to the old entrance gate – David planned a row of espalier-trained apple trees along the pathway between it and the apiary. This would make a ‘living apple fence’ to help control class groups of children, slowing down people movement and discouraging sudden entry to the apiary. This apple fence is now a major feature as you enter from the – new – oak gate and ramp to the garden.
Apple Days have become our most popular events. Each year we display over 100 apple varieties and in 2010 had around 900 visitors.
David wanted to establish Apple Days as part of the R & S calendar under the label of National Apple Day organised by Common Ground (http://www.england-in-particular.info/cg/appleday/index.html) We ran the first Apple Day in autumn 1999 – a small affair – and then expanded them each year with only one exception (2001).