Westnorth Manor Farm
Duloe, Liskeard, PL14 4PW
Tel: (01503) 269007
Apples full of flavour, sweetness and juice
Andy Atkinson arrived at Westnorth Manor Farm with his herd of dairy cattle in the spring of 1992. The farm is part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate and dates back to the 1600's, when the farm was known as 'Westnarth'. Drawing motivation from Cornwall Council's project to save, rejuvenate and replant traditional apple orchards, and wanting to encourage birds and wildlife, Andy planted three orchards on the farm. Soon, he had one of the largest collections of Cornish apple varieties in the county, creating a perfect wildlife habitat. Enthused by his new crop full of exciting, intriguing flavours, Andy juiced and blended, then hand labelled his first Cornish apple juices. In true entrepreneurial spirit, he then took them to local farmers' markets, where they quickly sold out. With this success and the introduction of his first Cornish Orchards cider, Andy took the leap to diversify from dairy farming to juice and cider making and threw his wellies away! Today they are a passionate team of over 20 local staff, working hard to create premium, whole fruit drinks and award winning ciders, to serve a wide variety of markets, both local and further afield.
Each year, we welcome the first signs of Spring to the orchards. The blossom and the first glimpse of bumblebees and insects are a reassuring sight. By early summer, the local hedgerows are full of colour and greenery and this signals the arrival of the elderflower season. Around the farm and local area, the wild elderflower blossom is harvested and collected by the sack load. The blossom is gently stripped from the stalks by hand and blended into an infusion with fresh, sliced lemons. The scent around the farm is reminiscent of a true English summer. In the orchards, the Cornish summer sunshine encourages the growing fruit to set. The orchards also provide a unique wildlife habitat and we often spot young deer, kestrels and barn owls at this time of the year. By late August, the first apples of the season are ready for pressing. One of the early varieties is 'Discovery'. This beautiful English apple is used to create our sharpest, zingy apple juice, which often has pinky hues from the intense rosy colour of the skin and flesh of the apple. From September through to November, our yard is full of apples, all different shapes and sizes. The fruit is gently transported to the press with flumes of water, creating a colourful river. The golden juice is stored in large vats, to ferment over the cooler winter months. Time is an essential ingredient, to ensure that all the apple aromas are retained. The craft of cider making does not finish here. In order to create a premium range of ciders, the cider makers balance the tannins, acidity and sugars in the ciders to ensure consistent, outstanding flavours and aromas. Each batch is taste tested before bottling, gently pasteurised and dressed with our distinctive labels, all here on the farm.
On the 14th July 2014 the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visited Cornish Orchards as part of a three day tour of Cornwall.
3 miles north of Looe, sign-posted from the B3254.
Daily, March to October
Liskeard Looe Farming in Cornwall The Duchy of Cornwall