Britain’s most popular potato variety Maris Piper is back on the rise with plantings up this season after seven years of decline.

The variety accounts for 16% of plantings this season with the rise reflecting its versatility as it can be use in the pre-packing, chipping and processing sectors.

The area to the variety rose 6% in England, Scotland and Wales to 19,220ha from 18,231ha in 2013, well ahead of second variety Markies at 7,527ha, according to figures from the AHDB and Potato Council .

See also: Potato area drops to the lowest since 1960

The ranking of the top five varieties, which also include Maris Peer, Lady Rosetta and Estima, are unchanged, with these five varieties accounting for 34% of plantings.

In Scotland, the top five varieties are Maris Piper, Hermes, Rooster, Cultra and Osprey.

Overall, the area in Britain planted to potatoes is now estimated at 121,900ha up from an end-June provisional figure of 119,900ha and compared with a 2013 area of 122,400ha.

This current estimate of 121,900ha puts the area just above the 2012 planted crop of 121,823ha. The end-June provisional figure had initially pointed to the lowest crop since 1960.