Staff at Cirencester Hospital invited pupils from Chesterton Primary School along to its annual Apple Day event recently.
The Year 4 and Year 6 children enjoyed collecting and sorting the windfalls scattered throughout the orchard grounds, before peeling and slicing the good apples and putting them through the juicer to make fresh juice.
Hospital gardeners helped the children plant sapling trees and crocus bulbs, and the youngsters also took part in a nature quiz and hunted for items that animals might need to hibernate.
Teacher, Angela Mays, said: “The children were so excited this morning to come along to Apple Day. It’s really nice for them to get out of the classroom and have the opportunity to investigate nature.
“Apple Day really fits well with the curriculum too, and links in with the children’s classroom activities later today. For instance, they will be using some of the materials they have collected today for their art class this afternoon.”
Hospital staff and teachers were on hand to help the children peel and chop the fruit. Speaking about Apple Day and the reason why the hospital holds the annual event, Matron Linda Evans explained: “The hospital is the centre of the community really, because everybody has been in touch with the hospital in some shape or form.
“It’s particularly important for the children, because this might be their first experience of coming into the hospital’s grounds. To do something that’s a fun, active, outdoor activity is wonderful.
“We have a fabulous opportunity for the children here with our orchard. But also there’s too much fruit for us – we can’t pick it all. So why let the apples go to waste?”