High Peak hobbyist plans to rear 650 varieties of apple on his orchard

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A hobby farmer is planning a four-acre orchard in Furness Vale - where he hopes to grow a whopping 650 varieties of apple.

Malcolm Andersson, 59, planted nearly 200 trees yielding 173 rare and unusual apple species after buying a six-acre piece of land near the village in 2006.

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Engineer Malcolm has dedicated his orchard to long-forgotten varieties you will not find in any supermarket - such as an ‘exact clone’ of Sir Isaac Newton’s famous Flower of Kent tree.

Others include the crimson-coloured and pink-fleshed, sweet-tasting Bloody Ploughman or the Adams’ Pearmain -which has been described as ‘nutty’ and ‘dry’.

Father-of-three Malcolm, who has been in the oil and gas industry for most of his working life, hopes to expand his current 173 varieties of apple to 650 in time for his retirement in two years time.

However the apple nut - who only keeps the orchard as a hobby - wants members of the community to help him tend the trees.

Malcolm and wife Christine, 57, spend ten minutes on each tree per week - equating to 29 hours a week.

However to give the same attention to each would take up 108 hours.

He said: “I want people in the area to come and taste them - they can come and take a cutting from a tree which they cannot get anywhere else.

“People can get involved and try making their own cider - or if people want to walk through and take a sample I’m happy for them to do that.

“I was at the orchard last weekend with the sunshine shining on it - it was so pretty with all the blossom.

Malcolm, who admits having worked for more than one ‘nasty, polluting company’, said the orchard was also encouraging Muntjac deer, butterflies and moths - which helped him ‘feel a bit better‘ about himself.