Thursday, 14 April 2011 5:09 PM
New research has found that traditional apple trees are vanishing from the nation's gardens due to a growing desire for aesthetically perfect fruit.
Juice brand Copella commissioned the study in order to find out just how far the UK had fallen out of love with apples.
The findings featured some bright spots – almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of people surveyed said they were concerned about preserving English apple varieties for the future.
However, this did not tally with most people's own familiarity with England's native species, as little more than one in ten (11 per cent) were able to identify English varieties from a list.
In fact, Scottish and Northern Irish respondents typically scored more highly than their English counterparts.
Birmingham scored the lowest of all locations surveyed, as only seven per cent of people there could pick out an English apple among its foreign counterparts.
Aesthetically appealing alternatives like Granny Smith apples were found to be favoured – but this variety originated in Australia.
The amount of land used for apple orchards has fallen from 55,000 acres in 1972 to 4,886 acres last year. It is feared that traditional varieties like the Cox are now in danger of going the way of quince and fading into obscurity as a national fruit.
In a bid to protect English apples and get people planting apple trees again, Copella has teamed up with Dr David Bellamy and the National Trust to launch the 'Plant and Protect' campaign. Bellamy said it was "a battle that must be won".
Copella has pledged to donate to the National Trust's orchard efforts each time someone signs their name on the list of supporters.
To add your name to the list, visit CopellaFruitJuices.co.uk.