A traditional orchard of heritage varieties within an allotment site, and a biodiversity-rich nature reserve.
Where is it? Chinbrook Meadows Allotments, Marvels Lane, Lewisham SE12 9SB. Nearest station Grove Park then 284 bus to terminus.
Can I visit? Everyday access is restricted to allotment keyholders, but visits can be arranged, and they hold regular open days and events.
Orchard owner: Managed by Green Scene for London Borough of Lewisham.
What is there?
The orchard has 18 heritage varieties of 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.
It also has 59 Cobnut trees, an Apricot, Cherry, Fig, Pear, Plum, Quince and Walnut tree.
Marvels Lane Primary School Workshop, 2016History
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.
For further information follow the link here
- 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
- Woodcraft Folk
- ChART Local
For more information, and to arrange a visit 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.