App-ealing crop used to produce new drink

STAFF and visitors to the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living are raising their glasses for the first time to a bumper crop of apples. This year the apples have been turned into cider and fruit from the centre s 100 tree orchard has provided them with 70

STAFF and visitors to the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living are raising their glasses for the first time to a bumper crop of apples.

This year the apples have been turned into cider and fruit from the centre's 100 tree orchard has provided them with 700 bottles.

Aptly named Rosehill Apple Juice as the trees are in the grounds of the former Rosehill Hospital where the centre is located, cash from the crop is going towards the growing people project, which provides horticultural therapy for people recovering from mental health problems.

All the apples were picked by volunteers before being pressed by Cam Valley Orchards at Meldreth near Royston. Bottles are on sale at the centre's Rosehill Caf� and were also sold at Hitchin Apple Day by the Triangle Community Group.

"The juice is non-alcoholic but has become very popular," said centre conference manager Jaqui Derrick.

Ashley Walker, a horticultural therapist with the growing people project, said: "We were very grateful to get involved in this apple picking project. Our clients have really benefited from it. Before we started I wouldn't have thought it would have had such an impact.