A SOUTH Herefordshire fruit farmer has been granted the Freedom Of the City Of London.

Anthony Snell, who farms at Windmill Hill in Harewood End, was elected last October to the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, which aims to promote the interests of the fruit industry.

Last week he travelled to London to receive the honorary freedom of the city and is due to become a Liveryman of the company in June.

Mr Snell said it was a great honour and added: "I like it because I can represent Herefordshire and the Midlands and promote the fruit industry and Herefordshire.

"In Herefordshire we produce 50 percent of all horticultural produce from the whole of the West Midlands. The county is a very important part in the production of fruit and veg."

Mr Snell farms about 450 acres in partnership with his wife Christine and they have two sons James, 17 and Jonathan, 15.

Crops include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants for supermarket retail, frozen individually quick-frozen retail and processing.

The mixed farm also has a small pedigree Hereford Cattle Herd, managed by Mrs Snell, and some winter wheat, grown mainly for straw used for the soil grown strawberry crops

The farm produces more than 1,000 tonnes of strawberries, 300 tonnes of raspberries, and 800 tonnes of blackcurrants, with packing, freezing and processing facilities on site in the centre of production.

Becoming a Liveryman is an honorary position but the company does a lot of charity work and brings together people who work within the fruit industry.

With hedgerow and tree planting, more than 100 bird nest boxes, water recycling, solar PV, and integrated pest management, the Mr Snell's business is keen to manage the environment sustainably, and regularly hosts visitors for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, as well as local schools. From July, the farm will become a LEAF Demonstration farm.

The business was awarded UK Soft Fruit Grower of The Year for 2016 and overall Edible Grower Of The Year.