About two-thirds of Britain's small, traditional orchards have been lost since 1960. This is a loss in ecological diversity, in 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. The search lasted more than a decade, taking them across the county, searching in forgotten orchards, hedgerows and the corners of gardens. The Lost Orchards follows the journey they took to find, propagate and make cider with Dorset's forgotten apple varieties: 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 Orchards. This hopeful story will resonate far beyond Dorset and will encourage readers to look closely at their surroundings and conserve their local orchards.
Liz Copas has been a Cider Pomologist at Long Ashton Research Station and an advisor for the National Association of Cider Makers. Her work has taken her to Herefordshire, Somerset and Dorset, She now works as a consultant for Bristol University’s apples genomics project.
Nick Poole is cider maker from Dorset who founded the West Milton Cider Co, which started production in 2009.