Covid-safe apple harvest drive-through for families at historic Aberdeenshire attraction

More than 400kg of fresh produce was saved from going to waste thanks to an alternative take on an annual family fruit-picking event.

More than 110 cars attended Pitmedden Garden’s drive-through apple harvest as one of the most popular events in the National Trust for Scotland’s calendar was adapted to adhere to lockdown restrictions.

The fruit-picking event wasn’t able to offer its usual family entertainment, but the team at the gardens near Ellon still sold around 400kg of local produce.

Monique Lanz, visitor services supervisor at Pimedden Garden, said: “Our apple day is the most popular event in our calendar and we usually welcome thousands of excited apple enthusiasts at this time of year.

“With the fruit already bagged, we were glad to offer a Covid-safe way for the public to enjoy our wonderfully fresh produce.

“Our dedicated gardeners, who have been tending to the apple trees all year round, were glad to see so many cars turn up.

“They work extremely hard to make sure that Pitmedden Garden’s apple crop is successful and of high quality and that people can enjoy it for years to come.

“We rely on donations and the support of our visitors to be able to run events like this and the support we received really shows the strength of people supporting their community at an uncertain time.”

Bags of more than 10 varieties of pre-picked apples as well as pears and home baking were laid out on the front lawn of Pitmedden House for buyers to pick up from their cars contact-free on Sunday.

Remaining produce is available to buy at Pitmedden Garden, which is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am – 4.30pm until  Sunday,  November 1.