Video: Apple harvest at Ampleforth

Eating fruit every day can reduce the risk of heart and artery disease - but the monks of Ampleforth Abbey are proof that fruit can also do its bit for charitable causes.

Father Henry harvests apples in the orchard at Ampleforth. Picture by Bruce Rollinson

The monks are predicting a bumper harvest this year and a team from the Abbey’s Benedictine community, Ampleforth College pupils and estate staff have been recruited to help get the harvest in before it spoils. It will be put to good use at the abbey’s newly updated cider press and will be used to produce cider.

Father Wulstan Peterburs, procurator of Ampleforth College and the Ampleforth Abbey Trust, said: “The orchard is one of our greatest assets here at Ampleforth, supporting the charitable work of our community.”

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New research published yesterday revealed eating fruit every day can reduce the risk of heart and artery disease by up to 40 per cent. Compared with avoiding fruit altogether, daily consumption also cuts the overall risk of death by nearly a third in at-risk individuals.

Father Henry harvests apples in the orchard at Ampleforth. Picture by Bruce Rollinson

Few previous studies have focused on the benefits of fruit alone to heart health. Scientists at Oxford University involved almost half a million people from China taking part in a large health and lifestyle investigation.