People can pick cherries this weekend and help raise money for a children's hospice.

Bagber Farm in Milborne St Andrew, Dorset's only cherry orchard, is opening its gates on Saturday (14) to welcome people of any age to enjoy the unique opportunity to pick local cherries to take home and savour.

This is the first time the orchard has opened up to the public.

Part of the proceeds will go to Dorset-based Julia's House Children's Hospice.

People will be able to pick six varieties of dessert cherries with a taste and texture said to be far superior to any imported versions available in a supermarket.

The cherries are grown through natural unintensive growing method, without polytunnels or irrigation systems, and trees that are spaced wide apart and exposed to the elements. The cherries are grown naturally and the taste demonstrates this, with a crunchy skin and juicy but not watery flesh.

John Hawkins, farmer at Bagber Farm, has enjoyed the challenge of growing cherries in Dorset, a climate that many would think is not suitable, but has proved successful and worthwhile.

Many of the hand-picked cherries are sold to local establishments including shops, farm shops, cafes and restaurants, with the remaining fruit shaken from the trees and used to make pure and mulled cherry juice.

The responsibility for the picking and selling of the fresh cherries and production of the cherry juices lies in the hands of Hayley Davis and Laurie Griffin, the duo behind Cherry Picked Hampers. Everything they include in their range of gift, corporate and holiday hampers is made in Dorset.

*Cherry Picking Day, Bagber Farm, Milborne St Andrew, Saturday July 14, 10am to 6pm. Visit the website or call 01305 307107 to buy tickets and for more information. It costs £15 for adults and includes a box people can fill with 5kg of cherries, and park and ride to the cherry orchard. The park and ride will operate from the Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion and everyone will be given an approximate time slot to avoid waiting as much as possible. Children are welcome. There will also be a cherry bar serving drinks and a food outlet available on site.