The Lost Orchards by Liz Copas with Nick Poole
‘This fine book is an invaluable guide to many half-forgotten and unknown Dorset cider apples.’ James Crowden, author of Cider Country
About two-thirds of Britain’s small, traditional orchards have been lost since 1960. The loss of an orchard means the loss of ecological diversity, community knowledge and the intricacy of local distinctiveness. In 2007, the pomologist Liz Copas and cidermaker Nick Poole began a quest to find and identify old varieties of cider apple trees around Dorset. It was a search that lasted over a decade and took them across the county, from farm to farm, village to village, searching forgotten orchards, neglected hedges and the corners of cottage gardens.
The Lost Orchards charts the journey Liz and Nick took to find, taste, propagate and make cider from Dorset’s forgotten apple varieties, such as Golden Ball, Kings Favourite, Yaffle, Dewbit, Golly Knapp, Tom Legg, Best Bearer and Symes Seedlings. The book is also an illustrated guide to the apple varieties they discovered, and an important history of West Country apples and orchards. This hopeful story will resonate widelyand inspire others around the country – and around the world – to look closely at their surroundings and take steps to rediscover, celebrate and conserve the orchards that make their locality special.
Liz Copas was born and has lived in Somerset for most of her life. She worked as a Cider Pomologist at Long Ashton Research Station, Bristol, for over 20 years, then as an orcharding advisor for the National Association of Cider Makers. Now working as a consultant for Bristol University’s apple genomics and as a panel member for the registration of local apple cultivars DNA scheme.
Nick Poole is a cider-maker from West Milton, Dorset, whose West Milton Cider Co. has been producing cider since 2009.