Beverley Apple Fest to be scrapped
A DAY that provides free family entertainment for people living near Beverley is being scrapped.
Beverley Apple Fest has been jointly run for the past 12 years by East Riding Women's Institute (WI) and East Riding Council.
But last weekend's event, which attracted hundreds of people to Beverley Parks, will be the last.
The Millennium Orchard Committee, which runs the day alongside East Riding Council, are disbanding.
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Organiser Elaine Dyson, chairman of the Millennium Orchard, on which the festival is held, said: "East Riding Council has made cutbacks and there won't be the funding available next year.
"It's a shame because it's nice to see so many people having a good time.
"But the day takes a lot of organising and without help we won't be able to do it."
An East Riding Council spokesman said: "The WI Orchard Committee, which has provided valuable support to this event over a number of years, is not to continue. Apple Fest is held on the Beverley Parks local nature reserve, which is owned and operated by the council.
"The site, which has about 100 local apple varieties, will continue to be managed by the council and visitors are welcome to enjoy the site every day free of charge."
The spokesman said it was "not really a case of removing funding" from the festival.
Last weekend's event was one of the most successful ever. One highlight was Queensgate allotment-holder Eric Johnson producing some of the biggest apples ever seen at the festival.
Fruit expert and guide book author Peter Blackburne-Maze identified them as northern variety Bramleys.
In the other tents, Beverley Apple Fest provided a wealth of homemade produce – cakes, cider, chutneys and jams.
Alongside all the food, community groups had stalls side by side, filled with handicrafts and pieces of artwork.
Beverley families will miss the Apple Fest once it has gone.
Mrs Dyson said: "It's about countryside events and activities for the kiddies.
"The Apple Fest was originally meant to be a celebration of National Apple Day. It was a way of encouraging the local community to use this facility.
"I'm sure there will still be things on at the orchard in future but it won't be on this scale."