Herefordshire initiative to promote orchards

This year has been designated the first ever Herefordshire Year in the Orchard (HYO), an initiative led by Herefordshire Council.

The project aims to:

- Foster a sense of the importance of orchards to landscape character and biodiversity.

- Encourage more visitors to visit the county.

- Get communities to hold their own orchard-related events.

- Support industry and economic development.

The event has two well-known patrons - Countess Darnley, Lord Lieutenant for Herefordshire and Elizabeth Banks, president of the RHS.

This year was specifically chosen as HYO to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pomona Herefordiensis, the first colour illustrated pomona or "book of the apple" in the world.

The book was written by Thomas Andrew Knight, who was also the last Herefordian to be president of the RHS.

The HYO has been designed to encourage more visits to orchards, linking more people with fruit we grow in the UK and the products available.

Spring and autumn are already marked with annual events such as the Big Apple, Cider Festival and Apple Day, but HYO will be celebrating all that happens in orchards - from pruning and wassailing in the winter to walks, festivals and community events in the summer.

A number of established events, such as Herefordshire Food Fair, Walking Festival and the Hay Literary Festival, will feature HYO activities.

Associated projects taking place throughout the year include tree planting, conservation, the distribution of grants and the creation of an orchard inventory.

LAND COVERAGE

Herefordshire has more than 3,000 traditional orchards, covering more than 2,000ha, as well as more than 10,000ha of commercial bush orchard.


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