National Apple Day on October 21 marks the start of a month-long campaign to promote little-known varieties native to England.
The drive, in its 15th year, is run by environmental charity Common Ground, which campaigns for local distinctiveness and against homogenisation of towns and cities with the help of Defra funding
Common Ground says there are 2,000 recorded apple varieties in Britain. One feature of National Apple Day is an apple identification service, where apple specialists help growers identify what variety their apples are. Director Sue Clifford says: “We see long queues of people clutching an apple waiting to discover its identity. Thanks to these events we have identified many new varieties of apple and rediscovered some that were long thought to have become extinct.”
Defra minister Elliot Morley said: “On National Apple Day I would like to remind consumers about our fascinating range of apples. Though not widely available, there are many old varieties to seek out and enjoy.
“There is no reason why the finest English apples should not be able to compete with the best in the world.”