The world's first Bramley apple tree was grown from a pip more than 200 years ago close to where our West Bridgford store now stands – so with the tree reported to be dying from a fungal infection colleagues at the store gave away 3,000 apples for customers to plant to maintain its legacy.

Store manager Tony Brennan hopes customers who took one of the the free cooking apples will plant the pips themselves so that more Bramley apple trees will grow in the area in honour of the original tree.

Tony said: "When we heard the news that the world’s first Bramley apple tree was dying just around the corner from our store, we really wanted to try and make a difference and show our appreciation for such a great local landmark.

"We've given away 3,000 apples to local families and children at the front of the store. The only thing that we asked in return was that the unused pips from the apples were buried in local gardens or parks in honour of the first Bramley apple tree."

The original Bramley tree was grown from a pip planted in 1809 by a girl called Mary Ann Brailsford. The land was bought by Matthew Bramley, who allowed a local nurseryman Henry Merryweather to take cuttings from the tree. The first recorded sale of Bramley apples was then made in 1862.

Current landowner Coulson Howard, who took on the garden from his aunt Nancy Harrison, hopes to find a way to preserve the tree, with the Nottingham Post reporting that Nottingham Trent University is interested in buying the cottage and garden containing the tree to prolong its life.