We’ve recently added a new community orchard to the list of the 250+ orchards which we support around England and Scotland. Please welcome, the Chobham Residents Orchard Project, known as CROP!
CROP is located in a housing development in Stratford’s Chobham Manor, in the London Borough of Newham. Here’s a few words from the CROP Coordinator and enthusiastic local resident, Neil Sinden, about the activity day we recently facilitated there, as well as a few photos of this fantastic community space.
‘The Chobham Residents Orchard Project got off to a promising start on 16th February with a fruit tree identification and pruning session. Around 20 local residents came out to help, ranging in age from 2 to 60-plus years old. Tools and special equipment were provided by The Orchard Project. With the help of orchard experts, Caroline, who volunteers for The Orchard Project as an Orchard Mentor, and Ania, a student on the charity’s specialist Community Orchard Management course, and support from the Residents Association and Chobham Manor LLP (joint venture with L&Q Housing Trust and Taylor Wimpey), the group managed to prune most of the semi-mature fruit trees planted in Villiers Gardens in 2018. This will help to improve the health of the trees and promote fruit growth when the spring comes.
There are fourteen fruit trees on the neighbourhood green all together, creating a mini-orchard that includes pears and several varieties of apple, such as Rosemary Russet and Ellison’s Orange. You won’t find these in your local supermarket! – We are looking forward to harvesting them! The trees will require ongoing care and attention so that they can become a valued feature of the local environment and a focus of seasonal community activity. There are already plans to organise an event to celebrate Apple Day in October – so watch this space.’