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ISLE OF WIGHT HAS BECOME AN APRICOT-GROWING HOTSPOT

The Isle of Wight is proving to be one of the most successful places in the UK to grow apricots, thanks to its warm weather.

According to guardian.co.uk consumer affairs correspondent, Rebecca Smithers, the fruit is a predominantly French product, but changing weather patterns have made Britain a more suitable place to cultivate apricots – due to earlier springs, longer summers and warmer winters.

So while holidaymakers might previously have had to travel across the channel to see fields of apricots, now they can see them on Isle of Wight breaks – while the hills of Kent have also been identified as suitable terrain, thanks to soil quality and the right variety of trees.

“The first British-grown apricots of the season will go on sale in supermarkets this week – in much higher volumes than in previous years thanks to innovation from suppliers and better growing conditions,” said Ms Smithers.

Localfoods.org.uk recently spoke to a fruit trader from Godshill Fruit, who lauded the quality of Isle of Wight apricots. Stuart Pierce, who sells his produce at Hampshire farmers’ markets, said the island is “perfect” for growing the fruit.

Mr Pierce explained that his firm planted four varieties three years ago and this summer has been the first time the business has sold the crops – they are now selling out of them.