South West Wales

St Dogmaels charity to plant 1,000 apple trees near abbey

Apple trees

A charity is set to plant 1,000 apple trees in Pembrokeshire.

Hanes Llandoch, in St Dogmaels, will plant the apple tree Pig Aderyn, which is believed to have been first brought to the abbey by monks from Normandy in the 12th Century.

The charity has received nearly £250,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for the three-year initiative.

The orchard's produce will eventually be turned into cider and work is expected to begin in September.

It will also provide training and education opportunities for people in the community, including workshops on how to brew cider.

Nia Siggins, who works for the charity, explained: "Two years ago we organised that evacuees who came to St Dogmaels during the war visited the village again.

"They were in their eighties and we went around the area showing them what had changed.

"One of the things that came out of those discussions was the fact that many said there were more apple trees when they were children.

"They were asking, 'where have they gone, where have all the apple trees gone?'"

The trees will be planted in fields close to the ruins of the monastery and the charity hopes to sell the cider in the future.

Image copyright Cronfa'r Loteri
Image caption Nia Siggins (centre left) celebrates after receiving the funding

Ms Siggins said: "There's a famous anecdote [that] the Bishop of St Davids came to the monastery in St Dogmaels once and he found that some of the monks were getting drunk often.

"That's been documented. So we hope to have a blend Drunk Monk or something."

The project would offer something "for all ages", she added.