Waitrose plans to offer six heritage apple varieties in-store within three years after recently planting 3,000 trees on its Leckford Farm.

Once the trees are fruit-bearing, Waitrose hopes to harvest 80 tonnes of apples at the peak of their season. Varieties include Ashmeads Kernel which has a peardrop flavour and russet appearance, in addition to Adams Pearmain, Pixie, Sunset, Chivers Delight and Kidd’s Orange Red. As the varieties chosen fruit throughout the season, Waitrose anticipates they will provide a continual supply into selected stores.

Waitrose aimed to source 70% of the apples sold in-store from within the UK during the UK apple season, according to senior fruit buyer, Jocelyn Clarke.

“The Leckford Collection will increase the volume and variety of traditional English apples available in Waitrose,” she said.

The Royal Horticulture Society provided assistance in selecting the varieties, which are being grown on 10 hectares of land at Leckford.