A major UK asparagus breeding programme will enable growers to extend the domestic season, according to the organisations behind the initiative.

Jamie Petchell, product manager for Hargreaves Plants, one of the companies involved, said demand for asparagus was growing 10% a year, leading to larger-scale production.

However, the asparagus season was still relatively short - the main part lasts just two months - and it was hoped the trial would reveal which varieties thrived in the UK outside this key period.

More than 200 types of asparagus are being grown on a plot in Norfolk for the trial.