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The Tidnor Wood Orchards Cider Apple Collection

Talk about apples here...

The Tidnor Wood Orchards Cider Apple Collection

Postby MSOG » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:20 pm

The Tidnor Wood Orchards Cider Apple Collection

We are delighted that a selection of cider apple varieties from the nationally renowned Museum Orchard at Tidnor in Herefordshire, has been made available to us to offer at the Springtime Scionwood Swap. Henry May first established the collection of "cider apple varieties and other varieties commonly used to make cider" in the 1960s, in orchards carved out of the old Tidnor Wood. Since then he has planted over 400 varieties and the 'fruits of his labours' are now recognised as a National Collection®

In the early 21st century, Henry's ambition was to establish his orchard as a long term organic Orchard Museum & Nature Park, with a resident Orchard Keeper able to take over when he retired. Events conspired to thwart his plans, so he then looked for a charitable organisation to take over the collection and give it a secure, long term future. Sadly this was not successful.

Henry then arranged for scionwood to be taken from each variety in his collection, for grafting onto new rootstocks. This would enable viable sister collections to be created and planted elsewhere, to keep the old varieties going in case anything untoward happened to their original trees. Those new trees would need good homes themselves, but where could so many be planted safely, on sufficient land that would itself be protected for the future?

The National Trust had the answer - they would take up the scionwood, create new trees and plant these out at a number of their properties, to augment existing and create new traditional orchards. Steve Oram, Orchard Biodiversity Officer for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, worked with Henry and the National Trust to arrange the gifting of the collection from one to the other. He then assisted the establishment of the trees at existing and new orchards at eight National Trust properties across the West Country, where so many of the varieties had originated.

Steve has made special arrangements for the Mid Shires Orchard Group to feature some of these rare varieties from Tidnor at our Springtime Scionwood Swap on 28-Feb-16.

See details of which varieties we'll have available, at our Event Listing here:

You can read more about the Tidnor Wood Orchards Cider Apple Collection here:
http://www.tidnorwood.org.uk/ - the history of Henry May's Museum Orchard
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/news/c ... tion-saved - the saving of Henry May's Cider Apple Collection
https://ptes.org/ - People's Trust for Endangered Species
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