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”.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Pens and Plough

With the shooting season finished, Gamekeeper James Watchorn has turned his attention to dismantling a temporary release pen. The pen will be reassembled in another location, nearer the middle of the farm. Last seasons maize covers have been topped and ploughed in order to get some nicely weather seedbeds for spring drilling.We will discuss our new season crop cover requirements with Kings. We are looking for a combination of crops that meet our environmental and shoot needs.

Friday, 10 February 2012

A Successful Season

After the first season comes to a close Loddington Estate's keeper James Watchorn is already making plans for the new season. With a new relationship with Kings seeds, a Higher Level Stewardship plan and farming operations to consider, there will certainly be challenges ahead.