The orchard in Cranford Country Park is in the historic walled gardens of Cranford House. After the house and gardens fell into disrepair this area was planted with a new community orchard in 2003. There are 49 different varieties of apple and pear here making this one of the most diverse orchards we have worked with in London.
Where can I find it? The orchard is in the grounds of Cranford Country Park in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The exact location of the orchard can be seen on this map.
Can I visit? It is open to the public year round. Cranford Park Friends hold regular volunteer events in the park, details can be found here http://cranfordparkfriends.org/events/
How do I get there? Cranford Countryside Park, The Parkway, Hounslow, TW5 9RZ.The site can be reached by train to Hayes and Harlington Station (1km away) then the E6 Bus to Cranford Drive.
What is there? There are 49 varieties of apple and pear in this formally laid out orchard. Many of these are unusual and local cultivars and there are a number of cider apples here too.
History of the orchard: As the former orchard to Cranford House there has been fruit growing on this site since at least the 1850s. The orchard sits within the old walled garden of the house. A project to restore the house and gardens and celebrate the history of the site began in 2018.
Biodiversity highlights & habitat: The highlight of this orchard is the sheer number of different varieties of fruit here. As each tree is planted on vigorous rootstock, there is an abundance of different fruit here in autumn. The rest of the park contains a large area of woodland an extensive wildflower meadows, all bordered by the River Crane.
Community: The Cranford Park Friends host regular volutneering and community events around the site, including an apple day in the autumn http://cranfordparkfriends.org
Friends of the River Crane Environment hold regular walks and volunteering sessions along the Crane corridor https://www.force.org.uk/
Working together: In 2018 and 2019 TOP worked with Hillingdon rangers and Cranford Friends to clear scrub and bramble from around the site. We began the gradual process of winter pruning to reduce canopy height and the offcuts were chipped and used to mulch the trees.
Each tree was given a label with its cultivar, picking date and usage information and an interpretation board was installed.