If you were to ask a majority of Herefordians what the fruit of temptation meant to them, the resounding cry would, of course, be the apple.

It is the logo for their beloved county, a symbol of abundance, fertility and ultimately love.

Well, these responses may as well be consigned to the Greek myths and Arthurian legends from whence they came as a new fruit of temptation sweeps our landscape.

There is a temptation to takea chainsaw to the very trees that once produced the ancient beverage that defined our cultural heritage.

A temptation of creating funeral pyres and burning the evidence.

A temptation of taking payments for planting the latest crop, be it blackcurrants, barley or maize.

The trouble with these new fruits lies in the short-sightedness, the greed, and the ignorance with which they are planted.

You may ask why orchards are so important. Why their loss evokes such a response.

You may argue that they themselves are temporary, sterile, man-made habitats that only serve the unrefined palates of alcopop consumers.

Undoubtedly, this is all true and highly relevant, but even heavily sprayed commercial orchards could one day become ancient landscapes, habitats with the potential to provide a home for rare and wonderfully bejewelled creatures such as the noble chafer, which relies on rotting deadwood.

This will not be a reality in our county, I fear.

These new fruits of temptation prove too alluring to the modern land manager.

Our orchards are not only under threat, but could, in the next decade become consigned to the history books.

Maybe the time is coming for us to remove the apple from our county council logo?

Angela Lloyd

Have your say? Email letters@herefordtimes.com