ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The UK National Fruit Collection, Wisley, England

Updated on April 19, 2011

Brogdale Farm Houses the UK National Fruit Collection

The National Fruit Collection is located at Brogdale Farm at Faversham, Kent, UK. The farm has 150 acres dedicated to growing and protecting the fruit genetic resources of our nation for the future. It is the largest fruit collection in the world on one site. There are:

  • Over 2,000 dessert and culinary apple varieties
  • Nearly 100 Cider apple varieties
  • Around 75 ornamental or crab apple varieties
  • Over 500 dessert and culinary pear varieties
  • 20 perry and 4 ornamental pear varieties
  • Over 300 plum varieties (including damsons, bullaces, greengages, mirabelles, Japanese & cherry plums and myrobalans
  • Over 300 cherry varieties
  • Over 200 bush fruit current varieties including blackcurrents, pinkcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants
  • Over 160 gooseberry varieties
  • 12 apricot varieties
  • 40 ornamental Prunus varieties
  • 4 medlar varieties
  • Almost 20 quince varieties
  • 13 Asian pear varieties
  • Almost 40 vines
  • Almost 50 hazelnut varieties

Between 1952 and 1954, Brogdale Farm was chosen and established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), to house the National Fruit Trials collection which had been located at the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Gardens in Surrey.

Wisley had been conducting Fruit Trials since 1921. Their collection, in turn, had come from the National Fruit Collection at Chiswick. The London Horticultural Society (later becoming the Royal Horticultural Society [in 1861]) had established the collection during the late Georgian period (early 1800's).

The farm is better known as the Brogdale Experimental Horticulture Station which has built the collection with the addition of foreign import apple varieties.to complement the 750 plus UK apple varieties. Brogdale has built up an enviable reputation world-wide as an unparalleled authority on fruit varieties that are grown in temperate regions.

National Outcry

In 1990 the Goverment required MAFF to close the National Fruit Trials at Brogdale.

Was the fruit heritage of Britain to be lost?

Not if the general public and the action groups had anything to do with it. A public outcry went up to preserve the Station and it's invaluable collections. This was a giant step towards keeping the collection and the gene-diversity inherent in the varieties of fruit established there.

The campaign went all the way to the top of the 'green brigade'. Prince Charles got involved, through the Duchy of Cornwall, together with the Swale Borough Council, to provide mortgage arrangements to purchase the site. This was achieved through the Brogdale Horticultural Trust (a charity formed for the occasion).

The Council and the Duchy were not the only ones who contributed. The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers (established in the 13th century and one of the oldest London Companies) also contributed, as did the 'Friends of Brogdale'.

Collection Secure

Although the land has been sold to a local developer, the funding and maintenace of the collection is under the jurisdiction of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which owns the collection.

The University of Reading is now the curator and maintainer of the National Fruit Collection, together with the Farm Advisory Services Team (FAST).

Always New Varieties

The trialling of new varieties is undertaken to evaluate the commercial potential of each new variety. At any one time there are hundreds of varieties undergoing tests. These tests are undertaken for supermarkets, overseas companies and the Government. The tests assess various characteristics including resistence to disease and pest infestations.

Visitor Information

Venue Information: 
Brogdale Farm 
Cost:
£8; children £4; family ticket £20; under 2s free
Opening Hours:
Easter-Oct: daily 10am-5pm; Nov-Easter: daily 10am-4.30pm
Address:
Brogdale Road, Faversham, ME13 8XZ
Directions:
One mile from Junction 6 on the M2.
Contact Details:
 
Email:
enquiries@brogdalecollections.co.uk
Phone:
+44 (0) 1795 536250
Website:
http://www.brogdalecollections.co.uk/
 
 
 
 

--- Remarks, Observations and/or Criticisms are Welcomed ---

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      8 years ago from carthage ill

      fine detailed quality hub reading thanks

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)