We have applauded Prince Charles before for his willingness to spend massive amounts of money on green causes. And now HRH has done it again. He has purchased 1,000 of the rarest British apple varieties. So have Geoffrey Anderton, who owns Lochnaw Castle in Scotland, and the Co-operative Group. The sellers are a trust which looks after the living collection on behalf of the Government. Its collection includes 2,300 traditional varieties of apple, 500 of pear, 350 of plum, 220 varieties of cherry and 320 varieties of bush fruits, such as gooseberry. The apples have all been stored in one location and it was decided that it was too risky to put all your apples in one basket, as it were. The species being sold include the Bloody Ploughman, which was first recorded in 1883, the Fairie Queen, Forty Shillings and Ducks Bill, originating in England, and Great Expectations, which comes from Ireland.
Each of the buyers has committed to planting their saplings in different parts of the country. It is assumed the Prince's collection would be grown at the Duchy Home Farm in Gloucestershire. The Co-op plans to introduce the apples to its customers. They are planting the trees at their 800-acre fruit-growing operation in Herefordshire. They intend to press and blend the fruit for their own "heritage" brand apple juice. Watch for the Ashmeads Kernal (pictured) "it's an ugly looking apple, with black spots, and most supermarkets wouldn't touch it with a bargepole, but the taste is fantastic – really nutty, with a juicy, firm texture." :: Telegraph