CIDER with rosy apples was just one of the products demonstrated at a "Tiddly Pomme" orchard event at Bagby, Thirsk, on Thursday of last week.

The event, sponsored by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group in North Yorkshire, drew so many people that an extra area had to be allocated for parking at Green Dykes Farm.

Farmer David Cox welcomed the visitors, who were taken on a tour of the farm and orchards restored as part of FWAG's project. Talks were given by Barry Potter, an orchard consultant, Jonathan and Dotty Benson of Lanchester Fruit, Gillian Ake, of Spring House farm shop and Karen Stanley from FWAG.

Pipkin cider making was demonstrated, and refreshments, all made from apples, included pies, juices and jams.

Barry Potter from York, the appointed consultant on Orchard Restoration, said: "The Countryside Stewardship Scheme has helped farmers and orchard owners to restore what is a traditional country scene. The ordinary public likes the traditional countryside of hedges, meadows, dry stone walls and the orchard at one time formed part of this scene.

"Stewardship helps sponsor walling, hedges and now orchards.

"North Yorkshire has a lot of orchards, many of which have become derelict and overgrown. A lot of our work is involved in restoring what is an excellent habit for wildlife.

Orchards are valuable landscape features which do not want neglecting."

Mr Cox entered the stewardship scheme two years ago and his orchards are now well on their way to looking as they might have in the past.

Other topics covered at the event included the history of orchards and their cultural importance, local varieties and uses, orchard management principles including a pruning demonstration and a discussion on grant aid opportunities.