The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's annual visit to Devon and Cornwall will take place between 13th and 16th July 2014. During a busy few days touring several areas of South-West England, Their Royal Highnesses will meet a number of Duchy staff and tenants.
On the first day of engagements, The Duchess of Cornwall will tour Cornish Orchards, a company which produces apple juice and cider. Cornish Orchards was started by Andy Atkinson, who arrived at Westnorth Manor Farm in the spring of 1992 with his herd of dairy cattle. The farm is part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate and dates back to the 1600s.
Taking motivation from a project by Cornwall Council 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. With 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, Andy works with a passionate team of almost 30 local staff, to create premium, whole fruit drinks and award winning ciders, to serve a wide variety of markets, both local and further afield.
On the final day of engagements, Their Royal Highnesses will also have the opportunity to tour Tregunnel Hill, a mixed-use neighbourhood on Duchy-owned land on the south-western edge of Newquay town centre. The development comprises 174 high quality homes, including 48 two and three-bedroomed affordable homes, and employment space for around 30 jobs.
Work on the 4.4 hectare site started in 2012 and will be completed in 2015. The Tregunnel Hill scheme is being built by Dorset-based CG Fry & Son and Morrish Builders, who have worked with the Duchy of Cornwall on its Poundbury development at Dorchester for more than 20 years.
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