Blackmoor apple day cancelled out of respect for farm victims
A POPULAR apple tasting day near Bordon which attracts thousands of visitors has been cancelled out of respect for two workers who died in unexplained circumstances.
In February Scott Cain (23), and Ashley Clarke (24), were found unconscious in the apple store where nitrogen is used to preserve fruit at Lord Selborne’s Blackmoor Estate.
The two men had gone into the building cooled by a nitrogen system to collect apples but were overcome and were unable to breathe.
Colleagues and then paramedics tried to resuscitate them but their efforts were unsuccessful, and both men were pronounced dead at the apple farm, between Greatham and Whitehill.
Viscount Wolmer, Lord Selborne’s son and managing director of Blackmoor Estate, said: “The Blackmoor Estate decided it would be inappropriate to celebrate the apple harvest because of the tragic events in February.”
Fruit can be kept fresh through controlled atmosphere storage in sealed rooms, where temperature and humidity is regulated, and oxygen levels reduced by the infusion of nitrogen gas.
The two men were enthusiastic sportsmen. Mr Cain, a father of a three-year-old daughter, was from Whitehill and played for Wey Valley Football Club. Mr Clarke, originally from Emsworth but living in Liss at the time, played for Southsea Nomads Rugby Club. The Health and Safety Executive and Hampshire Police are still investigating the deaths.
As well as attracting thousands of visitors to the 2,500 acre estate, the annual apple tasting day is a huge fundraiser for local organisations, such as the 1st Blackmoor and Whitehill Scouts.
Blackmoor and Whitehill Scout leader Greg Beardsall said: “We give our respect to the two lads who died and are 100 per cent behind the decision that Blackmoor Estate have made to cancel the day.”
The apple tasting day will return in 2014, and there are pick your own days at the Blackmoor Estate on Saturday, October 12, and Sunday, October 13, from 9am to 4pm.
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Wednesday 11 December 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 10 C
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