‘Amazing weather’ forecast on Apple-pressing Day sees sun set to shine on opening of new Ripon Walled Gardens cafe
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Ripon City’s Mayor, Coun Sid Hawke and Lord Lieutenant, Johanna Ropner, will be there to support the official opening of the new extension, which has been three years in the making.
The cutting of the ribbon will take place in the morning, followed by a full day of family-friendly activities which promises to be bigger and better than ever as the country basks in an autumnal mini heatwave.
The cafe, which previously had just 16 seats, now boasts 62 new seats, including al fresco dining in the beautiful garden setting.
Victoria Ashley, chief executive for Ripon Community Link at Ripon Walled Garden, said: “Now we’ve got this amazing cafe where we can give our members with learning disabilities many more opportunities.
“Opportunities to develop social skills by working with customers, gain confidence and boost independence, money management skills and integrate them into a meaningful role.
“We’ve had some amazing support and fundraising which came from places like the National Lottery.”
The extra indoor space aims to attract visitors through the autumn and winter months while tripling opportunities for those with learning disabilities.
The additional space has allowed the gardens to extend their nursery and include a variety of new plant life, which is on sale ready for the festive season.
Apple Day is expected to attract more than 400 visitors and residents and will be the gardens’ first to be fully free from restrictions post-Covid.
Mrs Ashley said: “It's about bringing families, schools and communities together and all about celebrating the harvest.
“What's exciting about this year is we are pressing and pasteurising the apples.
“We are encouraging people to bring their own too, and they get to walk away with their fresh juice.
“It’s a full day. We have Owl Adventures bird display in the orchard.
“We have storytelling, autumn themes, live singing, live performances, stall holders for shoppers, refreshments and food, face-painting and children’s games.
“The weather also looks amazing.”READ MORE: The Great British Bake Off: Ripon retailer provides popular Channel 4 show with limited edition retro fridges
“We also have a bee-keeper coming who will be making candles with people and the delicious Masham Cider, which visitors can enjoy.
“It’s very much about sustainability and stopping the fruit from going to waste, whilst the juice itself is completely natural and free from preservatives and sugars.
“There's a really fabulous story-telling area in the orchard.
“And with this wonderful forecast for the weekend, this year is really going to be extra special.”
The event is one of Ripon Community Link’s main fundraisers, while money raised is given directly back to the community.
For more information about the day’s events and times, visit: https://www.riponcommunitylink.org/plan-your-visit