Picking Your Own
Pick Your Own 2020
For our latest information regarding PYO please see Pick Your Own Latest News
We have been offering PYO here at Lathcoats since the 1970s but as you would expect this season is going to be very different to any previous season.
The reason for this is obviously Coronavirus and we have given a lot of thought, taken a lot of advice and listened to government guidelines in order to find a way to offer PYO whilst still keeping you, our customers, and our staff safe.
The key as we have all learnt these past weeks is Social Distancing and with this in mind we have identified two key objectives:
We need to control the number of people in the field at any given time
We need to help you move round the fields in a safe fashion.
So firstly, we will be offering an online booking system where you will have to book in advance a slot at a particular time on a particular day.
What we need to stress very strongly here is that if you turn up to the farm without having booked in advance you will NOT be able to pick. We will describe this system in more detail shortly.
Secondly, we will be operating a one-way system where pickers will be asked to walk UP some rows and DOWN others, and there will be a lot of signage around to help you find your way. Of course there will be areas, along headlands or in queues where you will have to use your common sense and socially distance yourselves in the ways we have become familiar with. Parents and carers will have to ensure their children understand and remain with them at all times.
We are very dependent on you all buying into these arrangements to ensure a safe PYO for all
If you have come picking in previous years you will know that at times it was quite quiet with only a few people picking and at other times absolutely heaving with the car park overflowing, grid lock at the entrance and long queues at the check out. We simply cannot accommodate those kind of peak numbers safely this year.
So the purpose of the booking system is to even those numbers out and to limit the maximum numbers in the field at any one time. So, everyone who enters the fields needs a voucher, adult or child or child in a push chair, the only exception being babes in arms. You will be able to recover a proportion of the cost of the voucher at checkout where we will deduct £3 from the cost of the fruit picked with a minimum spend of £3
Other key points are:
You must bring your voucher with you to gain entry to the fields. You can either print it out from your PC or bring it on your smart phone. You will also need it at the check out to claim your rebate. If you are not online your family or friends might be able to help
We ask you to wash your hands before joining the queue to enter the fields. We are installing hand washing facilities at the entrance. If you bring your own alcohol gel with you, you can gel your hands just before going in if you want to avoid any queue at the washing station.
We ask you to pay by contactless card if at all possible
There are no toilets available so our PYO offering this year is only suitable if you live relatively nearby
You will only be able to pick into our own containers, either the cardboard baskets or plastic buckets to avoid any extra handling and potential contamination. If you have one from a previous year please bring it with you. If you haven’t we will provide them free up to a maximum of one per single ticket, two per double ticket and three per family ticket. If you need more you will be able to buy them.
Your voucher will give you access to the fields for a fixed duration, initially for 30 minutes but we may review this once we are up and running. We ask you to respect this time so the field doesn’t get too crowded. If people spend too long in the field it will mean we will have to reduce the number of slots available to book
There are no facilities for picnics and picnics will not be allowed in the fields.
The coffee shop is obviously closed until further notice, though takeaway coffees and cakes will be available from 9:30 to 3 Monday to Saturday and the Farm Shop will be open 9 to 3:30 Monday to Saturday. Both are closed on Sunday.
The numbers of vouchers we will make available for purchase will be proportionate to the amount of ripe fruit available to pick. At the start of the season this will be relatively low and we will not be open every day. As the season really gets going and all the different fruits become available there will obviously be more vouchers available on more days. We will post news of when more vouchers become available on Facebook, our website, via our email list which you can subscribe to on our website www.eapples.co.uk. You can also phone 01245 353021 option 3 where you will hear a recorded message
In recent years coming to the PYO has been as much about leisure as it has been about fruit picking, and we have enjoyed sharing our little green oasis on the edge of the town with you. Unfortunately, under the circumstances we find ourselves in 2020, this year PYO will need to be seen as a shopping trip rather than a leisure activity.
We know that for some of you these new arrangements may be a challenge and for some it may even make you think twice about coming. We are certainly not trying to exclude anyone but do want to keep our visitors and staff safe.
PYO Explained - Video outlining how PYO will run this year
PYO Booking Process Explained - Video explaining booking process
Please note that whilst we want everyone to enjoy their PYO experience, we will not tolerate people (including children) helping themselves with no intention of paying for the fruit they pick. This is stealing and is the cause of the closure of many PYO farms in recent years. All picked fruit must be paid for. The fruit is yours to eat once you have paid for it.
Mary and her friends looking for the last of the season’s strawberries