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That’s sweet! Mild spring and lack of late frosts leads to bumper crop of apples at British orchards

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thats sweet mild spring and lack of late frosts leads to bumper crop of apples at british orchards

We can look forward to a winter of delicious pies and crumbles – thanks to a bumper apple crop this year.

A lack of late frosts combined with a largely warm and settled spring resulted in a prolonged blossom season for orchards, say gardeners from the National Trust.

This was followed by rain in July and August, which helped the fruit to swell. 

The harvest is taking place slightly earlier than usual as the warm spring helped pollinators such as honeybees to fertilise the flowers.

Bumper apple crop means we can look forward to a winter of delicious pies. The majority of the 200 National Trust orchards report a very good harvest this year (stock image)

Bumper apple crop means we can look forward to a winter of delicious pies. The majority of the 200 National Trust orchards report a very good harvest this year (stock image)

Bumper apple crop means we can look forward to a winter of delicious pies. The majority of the 200 National Trust orchards report a very good harvest this year (stock image)

More than 200 traditional apple orchards are managed by the National Trust, with the majority reporting a very good harvest, the charity said. 

Nick Fraser, head gardener at Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, said: ‘Generally we do get quite a good crop, but I’d say this year is our best for at least three years.

‘We care for over 25 varieties of apples here including Dog’s Snout – a variety which is slightly pointed, and looks like a dog’s face; the Ribston Pippin and Yorkshire Beauty.

‘Thanks to the warm spring, no late frosts and period of very settled weather we found that pollinators such as bees had excellent conditions to fertilise the flowers to form the fruit.

‘We purposefully keep the grass long under the trees from the spring to late summer so that wildflowers such as cowslips and cuckoo flowers can help attract the bees, butterflies, wasps and hoverflies which all help pollinate the fruit.’

His gardeners, who care for more than 25 varieties including Dog’s Snout and Yorkshire Beauty, keep the grass long under the trees from the spring to late summer, so wildflowers such as cowslips and cuckoo flowers can help attract pollinators.

The orchard at Cotehele in Cornwall will invite visitors to pick their own this year so fruit does not go to waste. 

David Bouch, head gardener, said: ‘Since we planted the orchard we have been keeping annual records to record how the harvest performs.

‘This year is certainly an excellent rather than a bumper year, due to the apple trees being biennial and last year being an exceptional year.

‘While still young, the crops are increasing year on year as the trees mature.

‘As the trees continue to grow we are expecting cropping to increase year on year, but we are always subject to the weather.

‘Thankfully being this far south we don’t typically have frosts after April, but mild winters bringing on early blossom can sometimes catch us out.’

An unexpected frost in mid-May affected blossom in the 22 acres of orchards at Ardress in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. 

Gardeners say a warm, settled spring resulted in a prolonged blossom season followed by rain in July and August, which helped the fruit to swell (stock image)

Gardeners say a warm, settled spring resulted in a prolonged blossom season followed by rain in July and August, which helped the fruit to swell (stock image)

Gardeners say a warm, settled spring resulted in a prolonged blossom season followed by rain in July and August, which helped the fruit to swell (stock image)

However, the 2,000 apple trees produced a second bloom to save the season.

National Trust tenant farmer and cider maker Greg MacNeice said: ‘We had an abundance of apple blossom back in early May which normally would have indicated that we’d be harvesting a bumper crop of apples.

‘However, in mid-May Northern Ireland recorded its lowest ever May temperature at minus 6.1C.

‘In the low-lying parts of our orchards, the frost descended with the cold air flowing downhill much like water, collecting and pooling in the valleys and behind dense hedgerows, killing off lots of delicate blooms from our early varieties and turning them black.

‘But our trees are nothing if not resilient and they found a way through by producing a second lot of bloom.

‘This ‘late bloom’ has produced apples which are smaller than normal and irregular in shape, but will nonetheless help us produce an excellent cider.’

Mr MacNeice said the crop was anticipated to be about 75% of a normal year, which was still a ‘great result’ considering the late frost.

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Video of woman washing her boyfriend’s pillows for the first time in 10 YEARS horrifies social media

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video of woman washing her boyfriends pillows for the first time in 10 years horrifies social media

A woman has filmed herself washing her boyfriend’s stained pillows for the first time in 10 years — and social media users are horrified by the state of them. 

In the viral video, the TikToker claimed her boyfriend refuses to replace his decade-old pillows, noting that he never washed them once in all of the time he has had them.

She documented the entire cleaning process, washing three of the dingy pillows — which were yellowed and filthy — and the result is astounding.

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend’s pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them 

While her boyfriend was at work, she placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets.

She then poured some Borax powder into the tub before adding bleach into the mixture.

The TikToker proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows, and then tossed them into the washing machine.

Surprisingly, the pillows came out completely white — a stark contrast to their dark yellow and brown shade before the wash. 

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water 

The video has since gone viral on TikTok, gaining over 1.7 million views and leaving users in shock at the state of the pillows before they were washed. 

‘With that alone, I would replace the boyfriend. Hygiene is everything,’ one person wrote, while another added: ’10 years of sweat, dead skin, dirt, oil and bacteria’ 

Someone else commented: ‘They are meant to be replaced every two years… they come with expiry dates on them…’

Social media users certainly had reason to be appalled, considering pillows are supposed to be replaced every one or two years and washed at least four times a year.   

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

An expert from Christy England, which supplies to Wimbledon and the royal family, told FEMAIL in April that ‘pillows should be washed every three months because, similar to bedding, they contain a build-up of sweat and dead skin.’ 

And while most people think that a whirl in the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt.

‘Stripping’ laundry is the special trick that gets everything super clean, removing the grime that washing machines won’t.

The technique involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent, similar to what the TikToker did to her boyfriend’s pillows. 

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she ‘can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean’

33536796 8765053 image a 90 1600879674088

33536796 8765053 image a 90 1600879674088

33536784 8765053 image a 91 1600879677225

33536784 8765053 image a 91 1600879677225

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows 

People have been stripping their laundry for ages, but the process is reaching a new generation after going viral on TikTok in recent months. 

Nurse Lauren Elms shared several walk-throughs on the app, first stripping her workout clothes on April 22 and then doing her towels on April 24.

The video of her stripping her towels was viewed more than six million times.

In the clip, she filled a tub with hot water and added a quarter cup of baking soda, a quarter cup of Borax, and a generous scoop of powder detergent and places her laundry in the tub.  

Lauren advised stirring the clothes every couple of hours, but she showed that just ten minutes in, the water was already dirty. After seven hours, the water was a filthy, dark brown color.

She pointed out that her clothes and towels were actually ‘clean’ when they went in the tub, so this was all buildup. She told viewers to finish up by re-washing their laundry as they normally would in a machine. 

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: ‘Stripping’ laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

She also showed that the bottom of her drained tub was dirtied with a surprising residue from the soak.

Lauren’s video set off a trend, and several others have mimicked her with their own clips. Some just shared shocked and horrified reactions, while others replicated the experiment with their own clothes.

According to The Spruce, ‘body soil and bacteria’ can get stuck in fabrics, especially terry cloth towels.

That’s why some older towels and gym clothes may smell clean immediately after coming out of the wash, but will start to smell as soon as they get damp.

When laundry is thrown in the wash, the soap is doing a lot of the work to clean it — but it’s still circulating in dirty water, which gets reabsorbed into the fabric.

Stripping can get rid of some of the dirt and bacteria, while smells can be killed by adding vinegar to a wash.

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PAUL THOMAS on… our military Covid marshals

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paul thomas on our military covid marshals
33546296 8766691 image a 34 1600910835132

33546296 8766691 image a 34 1600910835132

To order a print of this Paul Thomas cartoon or one by Pugh, visit Mailpictures.newsprints.co.uk or call 0191 6030 178. 

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Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance has £600,000 of shares in vaccine maker GSK

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chief scientific officer sir patrick vallance has 600000 of shares in vaccine maker gsk

Sir Patrick Vallance has a £600,000 shareholding in a pharmaceuticals giant which is racing to develop a Covid vaccine for the Government, a report has revealed.

The Chief Scientific Adviser holds the deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from his time as president of the multinational company.

Sir Patrick has already sold more than £5 million in shares he received during his tenure from 2012 to 2018, when he was appointed by the Government.

Accounts seen by the Telegraph show that Sir Patrick held 404,201 GSK shares when he resigned, worth £6.1 million at today’s price.

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick, who also chairs the Government’s expert panel on vaccines, predicted at a news conference this week that the first effective doses of a jab might become available on a limited basis by the end of this year.

GSK is one of more than 20 drugs companies around the world in the race to provide the cure for coronavirus – an achievement which would be colossally lucrative.

Sir Patrick’s former employer has deals with the British and US governments to supply them with Covid-19 vaccines, subject to terms in a final contract.

A senior Conservative MP and ex-Cabinet minister told The Telegraph that Sir Patrick should have declared his stake in GSK.

‘The policy of this Government is to try to suppress Covid at every opportunity until we get a vaccine,’ the MP said. ‘That makes it more likely that a vaccine will be prioritised by the Government and he happens to be holding shares in one of the leading companies that are developing it. It is a potential conflict of interest.

‘If he is making decisions on vaccines and advising the Government on them, then he either needs to divest himself of the shares or make a declaration every time he touches on the subject. In the Commons, every time MPs raise an issue in which there is a registered interest, they have to declare it. Every time he is talking about vaccines or on TV, he should put it on the table.’

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

A government spokesman said that Sir Patrick holds a deferred share bonus which will mature in April but declined to comment on the size of the holding or its value.

‘Upon his appointment, appropriate steps were taken to manage the Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s (GCSA) interests in line with advice provided at the time,’ the spokesman said.

The Government’s spokesman added that while Sir Patrick chairs the Government’s expert panel on vaccines, he ‘has no input into contractual and commercial decisions on vaccine procurement,’ which are the province of ministers.

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