"It is largely Don's drive and quest for knowledge that has revitalised the UK cherry industry, making it what it is today. He is therefore a most worthy winner of the Ridley medal," said Worshipful Company of Fruiterers Master Dennis Surgeon.
"Don was always interested in R&D and cultivated close relationships with leading growers, home and abroad. Don has played a major part in searching out, trialling, developing and introducing the key elements that have led to the turnaround in the fortunes of the UK cherry industry."
Surgeon added: "These [elements] include dwarfing more productive Gisele rootstocks, [introducing] new varieties such as Korda, Regina, and Summer Sun, overhead covers for protection against weather and bird damage, improved tree management and controls for pests and diseases."
Early in his career Vaughan worked for the Worley family, managing fruit and hops on their land around Yalding, West Kent. He sharing a passion for cherry growing with his boss, the late legendary Jim Worley. This passion led Vaughan to his consultancy role at Faversham (Kent)-based Fruit Advisory Services Team (FAST), where he spent the rest of his career working as a fruit advisor.
Worshipful Company of Fruiterers Master Dennis Surgeon presented Vaughan with the triennial award – instigated and endowed by Frank Robert Ridley in 1931 – on February 16 at the fruiterers' banquet in London.