BRITAIN'S total cherry harvest this year is expected to be worth £20 million, double that of 2013.

The news comes as UK cherries arrived on shelves early and in abundance following the third warmest spring on record.

British Cherries, the trade body, which represents more than 70% of growers, said total production was expected to double from last year to 4000 tonnes.

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The fruit's "extraordinarily early" arrival in shops follows May being the sixth consecutive month of above-average temperatures, according to Met Office statistics, and the third warmest spring recorded - topped only by 2007 and 2011.

A British Cherries spokeswoman said: "The British cherry harvest is set to last longer than ever, well into September. Consumers increasingly demand fresh home-grown produce"