Chinbrook Meadows Allotments, west of Grove Park cemetery Lewisham is the home of Chinbrook Community Orchard where there is also a thriving nature reserve.
The orchard was planted in 1991 and has an eclectic mix of 18 apple trees: Orleans Reinette, Margil, Michaelmas Red, Maidstone Favourite, Lemon Pippin, Kentish Fillbasket, James Grieve, Gooseberry, Ellison’s Orange, Pitmston Pineapple, Beauty of Kent, Allington Pippin, Costard, Tyedeman’s Late Orange, Decio, Golden Knob, Kentish Quarrenden, Striped Beefing.
As well as 59 Cobnut trees, an Apricot, Cherry, Fig, Pear, Plum, Quince and Walnut tree.
Where can you find it: Chinbrook Meadows Allotments, Marvels Lane, Lewisham SE12 9SB
Nearest station: Grove Park then 284 bus to terminus
Can I visit: Chinbrook Community Orchard is intended for local schools for environmental education, and is well supported by the local community, who help to manage the site. Access is restricted to keyholders but visits can be arranged.
Orchard owner & carer: Managed by Green Scene for London Borough of Lewisham.
History of Orchard
The site was formerly farm land, part of the Baring Estate. In the early twentieth century this land became part of Chinbrook Meadows an extensive area of open space. Later on the southern part of Chinbrook Meadows was turned into allotments and in 1991 the nature reserve and community orchard were created on the allotment site. It has heritage varieties and is maintained as a traditional orchard.
For further information follow the link here,
Biodiversity Highlights & Habitat
- The site is designated as a Grade II Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation.
- The grass in the orchard is cut once a year providing habitat for wood mice, common lizards, slow worms and invertebrates.
- There is the locally rare Grass vetchling (Lathyrus nissolia)
- Slow worms, the common lizard, common frog, common toad and smooth newt call it home
- You will also find Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown butterfles
- Stag beetles
- Blackbird, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Jay, Robin, Rook, Starling, Willow Tit, Wood Pigeon
Community Around the Orchard
The orchard is managed on behalf of London Borough of Lewisham by a dedicated group of volunteers, who are also Chinbrook Allotment holders. Others who sometimes access the orchard include;
- Friends of Chinbrook Meadows
- Grove Park Community Group
- Local schools
- Cub Scouts
- Woodcraft Folk
- ChART Local
For more information, and to arrange a visit contact contact Nick Pond, Green Scene, London Borough of Lewisham on Nicholas.Pond@Lewisham.gov.uk or by telephone on 020 83142007
The Orchard Project worked with members of Chinbrook Allotments and other volunteers in 2016/17 to clear brambles, prune the trees, and identify and label the trees. We made a wildlife habitat and planted spring bulbs with pupils from nearby Marvels Lane primary, hosted a grafting workshop, and provided an orchard management plan. We also helped the allotment volunteers to organise a Bioblitz Picnic and Halloween Party.