The fight is on to save the nation’s historic pears. 

The National Heritage Pear Project is to be launched at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate on 16 November 2013.

It aims to locate, identify and conserve surviving heritage pears.

There are many English varieties of apples but most pears originate from the Continent. Many were brought over during the 17th century.

Apple trees have a life of about 150 years but pears can live for 400 years. A lot of trees are now coming to the end of their lives.

Simon Clark, secretary of the Northern Fruit Group said: “There are lovely old trees but they are dying. If they are worth preserving they can be saved; if not grafts need to be taken.”

One pear enthusiast has 50 varieties propagated from old trees, growing on his allotment.