Two veteran apple and pear orchards on the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.
Where can I find it: Brockley Hill, Stanmore HA7 4LP
Can I visit? The orchard is open to staff, patients and visitors to the hospital.
How do I get there? Nearest stations: Stanmore and Edgware
What can you find there
The main orchard has 29 veteran apple trees, plus 7 young apple trees. The main orchard was likely planted around 1910, and the young trees were planted in 2000. The second orchard (near the allotments) has 8 veteran apple trees and 11 veteran pear trees and was probably planted between the wars ie 1920’s or 30s.
Most hospitals in London had orchards on their grounds to provide food for patients, and RNOH was no exception. The main orchard was probably planted before WW1 and the second orchard between the wars. The Orchard Project provided some new apple trees in 2000 which were planted by volunteers from Hoi Polloi.
The site is managed by RNOH grounds maintenance staff. Local group Hoi Polloi Permaculture planted and maintain the young trees https://hoipolloipermaculture.wordpress.com. The hospital runs an annual Buttercup Walk fundraising event, and in 2018 The Orchard Project attended and introduced many staff and patients to the orchard. The Orchard Project also organise community harvesting days.
The Orchard Project was involved with RNOH orchard in 2017/18. We ran community harvesting days, and wrote an orchard management plan, and introduced people to the orchard at the annual Buttercup Walk.