Rare apple back from brink
25 January 2011
An apple variety so rare there were fewer than 20 trees left has been saved and is finding a new lease of life in a community orchard.
The Doddin tree, found only in Redditch, Worcestershire, has heavy yields of elongated fruit only a little larger than golf balls. They are early and very sweet, eaten whole including the core. The tree had been gradually disappearing from cultivation until a group of people with fond memories of scrumping the apple as children set up the Doddin Preservation Society in 2007 and set about reviving its fortunes.
An appeal in the local papers located several surviving trees, and, with help from local fruit specialist Kevin O'Neill, new stock has been propagated and is now being made available commercially. One of these is the one planted in the community orchard in the Headless Cross district of Redditch, joining several other rarely-grown Worcestershire fruit varieties including the Yellow Egg plum from Evesham and the Worcester Black pear.
The Society is now working towards getting the Doddin more widely recognised and accepted into the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm in Kent.