Grant to enable the identification, verification, labelling and production of the manual, guide and key to the entire National Collection
Posted: 13th October 2014
Hartpury Orchard Centre, Blackwells End, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, GL19 3DB
A unique project to secure the future of Perry Pears in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties has been the focus of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust and Hartpury Heritage Trust.
Pear trees can live for 300 years, so many lost varieties may still be growing and unidentified in orchards throughout the Three Counties. As far back as the 1870s, 1,538 varieties of Pear were offered for sale. Only around 100 varieties survive today.
When orchards were first planted in this country, more varieties of pear than apple were grown. Recently perry pear research has begun to trace many lost varieties but identification has been challenging without manuals and knowledgeable identifiers.
To preserve the continuity of perry pears, the Hartpury Orchard Centre is considered to be the main location to access information, advice, practical training and specialist knowledge.
In order to supersede the time-honoured 1963 publication, which has been the basis of identification and management of the fruit for the last 50 years, a significant contribution of research has been carried out which has culminated in the production of the latest book, 'Pears of Gloucestershire and Perry Pears of the Three Counties'.
The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust allocated £25,000 to enable the identification, verification, labelling and production of the manual, guide and key to the entire National Collection.