Press release issued 15 October 2012
The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and contains over 3,500 varieties of apples, pears, plums, cherries, and bush fruit, but why does it exist?
Dr Matthew Ordidge, scientific curator of the collection and Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, will talk about the valuable diversity represented within the many different varieties, the origins of some of this diversity and the scientific work that goes on to protect the varieties for the future.
Nick Wray, curator of the Botanic Garden, said: “The value of the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm cannot be over emphasised. With a rich heritage of local apple cultivars in the UK, Brogdale’s work in conserving our national genetic diversity of apples is crucial to help sustain long-term food security. The diversity of apple cultivars available is immense. I look forward to hearing more about this fascinating collection.”
The collection, owned by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is part of an international programme to protect plant genetic resources for the future and to increase its value for use in future breeding programmes.
Plant genetic resources enable crops to be adapted in the face of increasing pressures from pests and diseases, changing market requirements, and the uncertainties posed by global climate change, whilst addressing the increasing need for environmental responsibility.
Conservation of genetic diversity is a core component of managing the National Fruit Collection, with activities such as cryopreservation providing additional long-term security to the collection.
The National Fruit Collection - what it is and why we have it organised by the Friends of the University’s Botanic Garden will take place on Thursday 18 October 2012 at 7.30 pm in the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, Room B75, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG.
Admission is £5 for non-members, free to Friends of the Garden.
Further information is available from the Botanic Garden, tel 0117 331 4906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brogdale Farm
Brogdale Farm is run by Brogdale Collections, a social enterprise company with the principle aim of creating awareness and interest in The National Fruit Collections and to enhance the long term sustainable future for the living collections at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham, Kent.
About the Botanic Garden
The garden is open in October from Monday to Friday and Sundays from 10 am to 4.30 pm. Admission is £3.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16. Disabled access and toilet facilities available. The garden also offers private day, evening and weekend guided tours for groups and gardening or any other leisure clubs. Please contact the garden for further information. There is a charge for the guide.
Directions to The Holmes
From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Holmes is 150 m on the right. Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/BotanicGardens/friends/who.htm or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.
With a rich heritage of local apple cultivars in the UK, Brogdale’s work in conserving our national genetic diversity of apples is crucial to help sustain long-term food security.