Celebrating the Plum
Once strewn with apple, pear and plum orchards the Vale of Evesham has been famous for its fruit since the middle ages. Helen Mark visits the Vale to see the work being done to continue the area's heritage of fruit production.
In Pershore she spends the day at the annual plum festival, a celebration of the close association the town has had with the fruit for hundreds of years. Here, she meets comedian and conservationist, Alistair McGowan, and hears about his memories of growing up in the area and lifelong fondness for plums.
After the boom years of fruit production in the Vale at the end of the nineteenth century, the 1950s saw a decline in the industry and, since then, almost 80% of the orchards have closed in the area. Helen meets Edward Crowther, whose family has run fruit businesses near Evesham for many generations, and hears about the changes in the Vale during the last century. She joins John Porter at Hipton Hill orchard and learns about the work his conservation group is doing to arrest the decline in the number of traditional orchards in the area and restore them to their former glory.
Produced by Beatrice Fenton.