Heritage of Orchards and Cider Making in Wales – get your trees DNA identified for free
The Welsh Perry and Cider Society have secured Heritage Lottery Funding for a two-year project called The Heritage of Orchards and Cider Making in Wales. The project aims to secure the future of Welsh variety cider apples and perry pears and are doing so via three strands: working with 14 community groups across Wales to plant new orchards or regenerate old with particular focus on enhancement and protection of wildlife; capturing the stories of modern day cider-making via digital stories in partnership with The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales; and conducting DNA testing, creation of museum orchards of heritage varieties and fermentation trials to devise a list of Welsh heritage varieties of cider and perry fruit.
They are searching for old cider apple and perry pear trees to take part in the Spring 2017 DNA testing. This would involve a visit by project staff to the tree to collect 8 leaves (preferably on a dry day). These are then sent for testing at East Malling Research Station and the results are returned around October time, just in time for the harvest.
If you think you may have an old Cider or Perry tree in Wales, or have any stories about Welsh orchards and cider making, then please contact: