The pear also comes with a great deal of cultural interest. Most of our pear varieties are of French origin. (Most apples varieties were bred here). In Scotland, the historical record shows that pears became common following the introduction by the then ‘new’ monasteries in the late 12th Century. These monastic orders came predominantly from France, for example Chartres or Tiron. The monks brought their liking for pears with them – and hard pears were a dietary staple that could be stored throughout the winter. (This was in the days before the potato). So would you fancy some pear soup? The monks did!
Record a Heritage Pear Tree
Our friends at the Ancient Tree Hunt have been recording heritage trees for years. So we suggest that their system is well suited to recording heritage pear trees. Please use their system at this link:
The Heritage Pear Project project was initiated by key members of the Yorkshire-based Northern Fruit Group, and is now being fostered by enthusiasts and experts, individuals and organisations across the UK, one of which is Orchard Research & Enterprise.
The project is only in its early stages, but is ambitious in its scale.
The aims which are still developing are currently:
- Record heritage pear trees
- Create a pear Variety Identification expert system
- Identify samples submitted
- Propagate unusual and unknown pear varieties
- Provide expertise & training on conservation management
- Tell the story of the heritage of pear trees in Britain
To identity the location and condition of the best examples of heritage pears across the UK, the project will:
- use existing survey information such as the Orchard Inventories across the home nations.
- create a framework and set of resources for volunteer recorders to visit and detail particular specimens.
- coordinate a network of local organisations, enthusiasts as well as orchard owners across the UK.
If you are interested in this nascent project, then drop us a line and we’ll keep you updated