A family has been named as making the world's best cider - using thousands of apples they get for free from abandoned orchards left over from a 90s trend.

St Ives Cider's Farmhouse in Cornwall have their own orchard - but also receive tonnes of apples which would otherwise rot.

Owners David Berwick and his wife Kate say the county is full of homes which have orchards which are unreaped.

People across the county have apples they don't know what to do with - or have even discovered overgrown orchards on their land they didn't know were there.

There was a huge drive in the 1990s by officials for people to replant Cornish varieties in the county, which sparked a trend.

But when that died off thousands of trees were left to drop fruit every year and go unused.

David and his family now have a network of homes, farms and estates he can go to to collects apples - some he pays for but many he doesn't.

They now get around 25 per cent of their apples from locals and have been awarded numerous global awards for their Cornish cider.

The family has also now been named as making the best still cider at the World Cider Awards.

David said: "One orchard we use now, its owners came up to me at the Royal Cornwall Show and asked if I wanted some apples.

''I said sure, and they said 'I think we've got an orchard'.

"Their trees were 30ft high bramble apple trees and they found them all when they bought the house.

''We're still using the trees today, and there are places like it all over the county that we're still finding now.

"Probably 25-30 per cent of our apples come from these abandoned orchards.

''Obviously, we rely on our own orchards first, there are just lots of them dotted around.

"You'd be amazed how many of them there are, I think we've probably barely scratched the surface, a lot of their owners probably don't know they're there either.

"Some years it can depend if I've got time to go and get the apples as quite often there is a tree here, a tree there, and often in quite overgrown areas so they're not the easiest to harvest, often surrounded by long grass and bushes etc.

"There are a lot of the owners that have said if you want the apples come and get them.

''When you get up to half an acre or so people start to ask for payment, it depends what the owner wants".

David said they was a drive to plant the trees in the 90s.

He said: "It went well for probably ten years, but of course people just lose interest.

"It was the council that in the 90's were worried that all these Cornish varieties were dying out and just wouldn't exist anymore.

'So they basically said to people if you want them we'll give you the trees.

"Before then, people weren't planting them.

"You need a unique variety in Cornwall, it's a lot windier, and a lot wetter and it's a very different climate to the rest of the country.

''They say the original trees were something called 'Cornish Mother' which you come across quite a lot".

Calling English Agriculture a "fickle mistress", David said that the use of Cornish apples was absolutely pivotal to the success of his business which uses pure apple juice to make ciders, where most businesses only use 35 per cent pure juice.