Earlier, bigger and sweeter than 2013 is the promise from British strawberry growers after the fifth warmest winter on record.
The mild winter and arrival of Mediterranean temperatures means ample supplies of home-grown strawberries will be on supermarket shelves three weeks earlier than last year.
Growers up and down the country also estimate that there will be a 10 per cent increase in strawberry production compared to 2013, despite the wettest winter in 250 years.
British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 98 per cent of berries in supermarkets, report that not only will it be an earlier and larger crop of British strawberries but consumers can also expect the berries to taste sweeter and juicier than normal.
Lochy Porter runs East Seaton Farm with wife Debbie, in Arbroath growing soft fruit across 400 acres of land surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and the North Sea. Mr Porter said: “We will start picking 10 days earlier than last year – and there will be much more of a spread of production which should allow for a better match between supply and demand.”