Herefordshire hop pioneer Peter Davies dies aged 93

Peter Davies farmed at Claston Farm, Dormington, where hops have been grown since at least 1750.

Image: British Hop Association
Image: British Hop Association

The Davies family farmed hops at the site from 1840 until 2009.

In the 1980s, Peter Davies doubled hop production at the farm to 90 hectares, and as an early contracted grower for Bulmers, tripled cider production to 70ha.

He was a strong believer in the importance of healthy soils and was a keen participant in the early environmental stewardship schemes.

He chaired Western Quality Hops for over 30 years, and the NFU hops committee between 1975 and 1982.

He also helped pioneer the uniquely British low-trellis or hedgerow hop, and his farm became the main testing site for all new such varieties from the Wye Hops breeding programme.

Davies won the Grower of the Year Award for Individual Achievement in 1999, and received an MBE from the Queen in 2002.  

British Hop Association director Ali Capper, who also chairs the NFU Horticulture & Potatoes Board, said: "As well as running a successful business, Peter was always devoted to researching new techniques, testing new hop varieties and promoting the final product. 

"Even at 80 years old, he was continuing to push forward hop growing frontiers. He was an inspiration to many of us and a great ambassador for the industry."


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