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Wales: 'New' apple and pear varieties found

Researchers have discovered a total of 73 previously unrecorded varieties of apples and pears believed to be unique to Wales. About 200 trees were DNA-tested in a two-year project. The goal was to find, catalogue and preserve new varieties. Some have been propagated and are now being grown in 13 community orchards around Wales.

The lottery funded project was run by the University of South Wales and the Welsh Perry & Cider Society. One variety, called Anglesey Sweet Jane (A1789), was found growing on land on Anglesey.

Another apple, known as Afal Tudwal (A1797), was found growing in an old orchard attached to a vicarage in Llanstadwell, Pembrokeshire. Researchers said its taste was "sharp but not unpleasant" and it had been used as a "cooker" and for cider.

"When we launched this project none of us could have foreseen the huge success of the DNA testing results that would come from it," said society chairwoman Sally Perks. "We hoped to find some unique varieties, but we didn't envisage that there would be so many varieties of cider apple and perry pear that have only been found in Wales."

Accordingt to¸ their project was set up in 2016 to look at the heritage of orchards and cider-making in Wales and it has boosted known varieties from about 30 to more than 100.

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