Drinks maker calls for volunteers to bring in the elderflower harvest

A drinks manufacturer is appealing for volunteers to help bring in the elderflower harvest.

Friday, 25th May 2018, 4:18 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:50 am
The production line at Belvoir Fruit Farms.

The plea comes from Pev Manners, the managing director of Belvoir Fruit Farms, which relies on the harvest for its award-winning Elderflower Cordial and its Elderflower Pressé.

All volunteers are welcome and can potentially earn £50 cash in four hours, based on £2.50 per kilo.

Pickings need to be weighed in on the same day, at the official dropping station at Belvoir Fruit Farms, in Bottesford, or at Sacrewell Farm & Country Centre, Peterborough.

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Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir Fruit Farms, inspecting the elderflowers.

The company needs about 60 tonnes - or 3.6 million flowerheads) - a year to satisfy demand for its drinks.

Belvoir Fruit Farms has 90 acres of organic elderflower - the only known elderflower orchards in the UK - but still need to supplement those blossoms with those growing wild in the hedgerow in the counties in and around the Vale of Belvoir.

Mr Manners said: “While the harvest is a crucial part of the farm’s year it has become a regular event for many locals who join the harvest as much to be out in the sunshine and close to nature, as to earn some money.

“The best part is that there is no special equipment required – simply a bin bag and maybe a walking stick to pull down the higher branches.

“We requests that only the frothy blossom and none of the stalk is harvested, and that the elderflowers are brought along to the weighing stations as soon as possible on the same day they are picked to ensure the blossoms are at their freshest.”

Mr Manners added: “We’ve been encouraging people to help with the harvest for over 30 years and welcome back many of the same people year after year.

“We love to see them, but it’s always great to find new people getting involved. It’s such a massive job, we all get stuck in at Belvoir, but it’s the public who make the real difference and without them we would be in trouble – so thank you and do please come and share this important time of year with us.”

See the Belvoir website at www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/elderflowers for up-to-date information on opening times and the best-known places for picking, or call Belvoir Fruit Farms on 01476 870286.