Branston Ltd, the UK's biggest potato producer, has donated £9,000 to set up a potato park in Peru, the historic home of the vegetable.

    Many indigenous potato varieties have been ravaged by disease and conflict. The move is designed to bring hope to communities which rely on the crop for economic survival.

    Some of the potatoes threatened with extinction are thousands of years old, and go by extravagant names such as Wakapa Qallun - cow's tongue - and Puka Wara, which means 'red trousers'.

    Now the firm - based in Branston, near Lincoln - aims to salvage around 300 varieties and distribute the seed among the Potato Park's farmers.