SWINDON, England, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Trust is supporting the Plant and Protect campaign which has been launched by Copella.
As English apple growth declines, new independent research has highlighted how out of touch with their heritage varieties Britons are. The study of over 1,000* Britons commissioned by apple juice experts, Copella, has revealed that over three quarters of the population (76%) think that the Granny Smith is an English variety - when in fact, it's Australian.
The study also revealed that only 11% of Britons are able to identify English apple varieties from a list of names and 45% of Britons buy apples based on perfect looks alone.
Ironically, those in Northern Ireland and Scotland were the most successful at identifying English apples (28% and 23% respectively) compared to their English counterparts. People in Birmingham were the least successful at identifying the English apple from a line-up (7%), However,,65% of Britons are actively concerned about the plight of English apple varieties.
The news comes as recent apple market data has revealed that the iconic Cox, as well as over 50 other traditional English apple varieties, are in decline and could face potential extinction due to a lack of consumer demand for them; as the 'apple a day' mantra results in the pursuit of more aesthetically pleasing varieties.
To reverse this decline and get consumers re-engaged with great tasting English heritage apple varieties they have forgotten about, juice experts Copella have launched the 'Plant and Protect' campaign with the support of David Bellamy and the National Trust - with the ultimate aim of getting consumers planting and protecting English apple trees themselves.
The campaign calls on Britons to support the wide range of English apple varieties by asking them to pledge their support for English apples. For every pledge, Copella will make a donation to support the planting and protecting of apples at English National Trust orchards.
In 1972, there were 55,000 acres of eating apple orchards ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-nature /w-nature-orchards-spring.htm); by 2010 this had fallen to 4,886 acres. Copella aims to change this, with the support of the National Trust, whose orchards around the country allow visitors to see and experience apples local to their area.
Dr David Bellamy explained: "With more and more scary information about the heritage of the English apples, please join me in this battle, a battle that must be won. With the UK's help and the vision of Copella and the National Trust, we are going do just that. The National Trust cares for some of our most wonderful houses ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-kinveredgerockhouses) and estates (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-buscot_coleshill), some of which boast wonderful orchards, buzzing with biodiversity and sustainability. What a team. "
Copella brand manager, Meena Nagarajan said: "We hope that our Plant and Protect campaign will inspire people to think more about and enjoy the full range of English apple varieties. All Britons can show their support for national apples - whether it's planting an endangered variety in your garden, or pledging support for the campaign."
Chris Groves, orchard officer from The National Trust explained: "We're excited to be working with Copella, who is just as passionate as us about championing English Apple varieties available."
About the National Trust:
The National Trust is a charity ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-trust/w-thecharity.htm) with a statutory duty to preserve places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland 'of historic interest and natural beauty for the benefit of the nation'.
As Europe's largest conservation charity it protects over 350 historic houses, 160 gardens, 1,100 kilometres of coastline, 254,000 hectares of land of outstanding natural beauty, six World Heritage Sites, 28 castles and 60 pubs, including many places to visit in London - and give access to them for people to enjoy.
Notes to Editors
* The research for Copella Apple Juice was carried out between 31/03/2011 and 04/04/2011 by Opinion Matters. Sample: 1008 Adults
PR Contact: Jeannette Heard Press Officer National Trust Heelis Kemble Drive Swindon SN2 2NA +44(0)1793-817706 http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
SOURCE National Trust