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The apple harvest | © The Orchard Project
The apple harvest | © The Orchard Project
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This New Cider is Made From Apples Grown In London

Picture of Andrew Webb
Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 26 July 2017
When you think of cider production in Britain the orchards of the West Country spring to mind. It’d be fair to say that London comes fairly far down the list.

However, July 24 saw the launch of a new craft cider made entirely from apples grown and collected across the capital. The Orchard Project, a charity dedicated to the establishment, restoration and development of community orchards, worked with apple loving volunteers to make the limited edition cider.

In August 2016, two tonnes of sweet and cooking apples were harvested from orchards, gardens and wild spaces from all over London. They then spent the following eight months being pressed, fermented and bottled at the Herne Hill Cider House. Finally the name, Local Fox, was chosen by a social media vote.

The Orchard Project’s Local Fox Cider
The Orchard Project’s Local Fox Cider | © The Orchard Project / Carmen Valino

Head cider maker Rosa Fletcher said: “We’re thrilled to be making good use of the abundance of fruit across London. In previous years these apples would have fallen to the ground and gone to waste.”

Cider makers Elizabeth Pegler (left) and Rosa Fletcher (right) holding London Apple Juice and Local Fox Cider
Cider makers Elizabeth Pegler (left) and Rosa Fletcher (right) holding London Apple Juice and Local Fox Cider | © The Orchard Project / Carmen Valino

The cider has been made using traditional methods using wild, naturally occurring yeasts. Rosa continued, “our aim was to keep the whole process as true to tradition as possible, essentially following the lead of the fruit trees, which in turn are heavily reliant on local bees. By doing things this way it means our cider will taste completely different each year.”

Herne Hill cider house during Harvest
Herne Hill cider house during Harvest | © The Orchard Project

Although most of the apples were harvested from community orchards across London by The Orchard Project’s volunteers, many came via donations from the public, who will receive some of the finished product in return. The charity also offered support, tools and training to community orchards in exchange for apples, something they hope to extend during this year’s forthcoming harvests.

Local Fox will be available from a limited number of shops and bars across London from 24 July. Visit their website for more information: www.theorchardproject.org.uk/drinks/