RHS says this year’s British apples are fewer but sweeter

The Royal Horticultural Society says that apples will be smaller in number but sweeter in taste this year, following a warm September.

Extreme heat and droughts in the UK in 2022 caused stress to apple trees, which has resulted in an inconsistent crop in 2023. While some trees have produced a decent amount of fruit, others are significantly less laden.

However, favourable conditions in September have meant that while the British apple harvest may not be abundant this year, apples will be particularly flavoursome.

Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist of the RHS, said: “The last 70 days before picking influence apple flavour and this year the lack of heatwaves in August and good sunshine with some, but not excessive, warmth in September is bringing fruits to maturity with plenty of sugars, some acids and bright colours – all of which make for tasty, appetising fruits.”

Monday 2 October marked the start of the 2023/4 British apple season while this weekend the RHS Festival of Flavours continues at RHS Garden Rosemoor and will be celebrating the harvest from their Heritage Devon Apple Orchard.

The festival, which is running from 7-8 October, will feature a number of apple focused talks and activities – including a demonstration of how to press apples, and talks by the founder and owner of Sandford Orchards Cider on the history of cider making in Devon, as well as by pomologist Liz Copas on her new book ‘The Lost Orchards’.

In addition, visitors can bring in home grown apples for identification and RHS Rosemoor’s edibles team will be giving expert advice on how to grow and cook your own food. There will also be an artisan food and craft market, as well as live music and campfire cooking to get visitors into the festival mood.
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Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:
For further information, images or to attend, contact the RHS Press Office at [email protected] / 0207 821 3080.
About the RHS Gardens
The RHS has five gardens:
RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Lane, off Leigh Road, Worsley, Salford M28 2LJ. 0161 503 6100
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB. 01423 565418
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET.
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH. 01805 624067
RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley Lane, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB. 01483 224234

About the RHS

Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science.
We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.
Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.

Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings.

For more information visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.