Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Report from Leicester Mercury - Monday 13th February 2012...................................... Orchard helps to bring rare county apples back from brink of extinction A DIAMOND Jubilee community orchard is helping to bring rare varieties of Leicestershire apples back from the brink of extinction. The orchard, in Loddington, east of Leicester, features Dumelow’s Seedling, Peasgood Nonsuch and Annie Elizabeth, and they will soon be joined by Barnack Orange, Cottenham Seedling and a variety named Prince Charles. The six Leicestershire apples are among dozens of rare English apple trees in the orchard. The Loddington Women’s Institute helped select the varieties chosen, basing their decision on the apples’ flavour and cooking qualities. The orchard has been planted on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Allerton Project research farm. Dr Alastair Leake, of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, said: “We are in danger of losing an important part of our natural heritage so, as a wildlife research charity, we were delighted to be able to protect these rare Leicestershire apple varieties for the future. “This is not just good newsfor our community, who will be able to enjoy the delights of these apples in the future, it’s also great for wildlife which thrives in and around orchards. ” The trees have been specially grafted from the National Fruit Collection in Kent. A spokesman for the trust said the chosen varieties also reflected “the rich heritage and provenance of our wonderfully flavoursome English apples, many of which are in danger of being lost. Although some are making a comeback”.