Every year in Cumbria, a celebration takes place to herald the arrival of spring and the damson blossom.
Damson Day Country Fair takes place in the Lyth Valley with local crafts and produce, live entertainment, displays, demonstrations, blossom walks, real ale and hot food on offer to visitors.
The Westmorland damson, thought to be a type of Shropshire prune, is a member of the plum family and slightly smaller than other damsons. Traditionally, the damsons have grown in and around the Lyth and Winster valleys in the South Lakeland area, since the early 1700s. The fruit was sold by the cartload in the nearby town of Kendal, as well as being used by jam factories in Lancashire and as a dye for the textile industry.
The Westmorland Damson Association began in 1996 to help save the orchards, and the first Damson Day was held a year later in 1997. The damsons are used for a variety of products, from jams, jellies and chutneys, to wine and gin.
This year’s Damson Day Country Fair will take place on Saturday 13th April at Low Farm. As well as the food and entertainment there will be a Damson Day competition with categories for the best damson jam, liqueur or gin, wine and brownie.
During spring the damson trees are in blossom with their pretty white flowers on show, so what better time to celebrate this unique fruit?
When: 13th April 2019
Where: Low Farm, Lyth Valley, Cumbria LA8 8DJ
£: Admission costs £6 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family
More info: www.damsonday.co.uk