Fine weather brings 'juicy' early apple harvest
Apple growers are expecting a "delicious and juicy" early harvest after sustained fine weather.
Certain varieties are ripe for picking three weeks earlier than in 2013, trade body English Apples and Pears says.
It said it was too early to compare the crop with the peak of 2011, but things were "looking very promising".
Shoppers can expect soon to see early croppers such as Galmac and Delbar Estival, with fruit including plums, cherries and pears also doing well.
A mild spring followed by recent sunny weather has created better conditions for growing apples.
Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples and Pears, said: "This year, all told, things are looking very promising for the coming season.
"Quality is extremely good, we've had a lot of sunny weather, meaning taste will be very good, and the texture and colour will be extremely good.
"The apples will have great crunchiness, lots of taste, and a good size."'Lovely weather'
Alison Capper - who runs Stocks Farm in Suckley near Malvern in Worcestershire with her husband Richard - produces dessert and eating apples including Gala and Braeburn.
Their apples are also used in Magners cider and she said the crop was looking "really nice".
She said: "We've had lovely weather. We've had rain when we've wanted it, although some parts of the country have been drier than we'd have wanted.
"We've had some disease pressures which we always get with our climate, which might mean the skins aren't absolutely perfect in some cases.
"But, generally speaking, the crunch is going to be juicy and delicious."