An old orchard of pear and apple trees on the grounds of La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School, formerly a convent.
Where is it? Atkins Road, Clapham, south London
Can I visit? It is on the grounds of a school so not open to the public.
What is there?
3 veteran apples (Charles Ross, Crimson Bramley and unknown) and 11 veteran pears (varieties unknown)
2 young apples (Charles Ross and Annie Elizabeth) and 2 plum trees (Opal and Herman) planted in December 2018.
History of orchard
The school was built in 1880 on part of the grounds of Clapham Park, by Les Dames de la Retraite, a French religious order. It is not known exactly when the current orchard was planted, but it can be seen in a historical map from 1944:
Teacher Wanda Jarrett and school students, including those doing the Land Based Studies course.
The Orchard Project worked with the school in 2018-2019. We helped pupils to mulch the trees with woodchip, and to plant herbs and sow wildflowers; we ran a workshop with Year 7 pupils in orchard habitat; we harvested fruit, pruned the veteran trees and planted 4 new apple and plum trees; and we identified two of the veteran apple trees and labelled them.