Orchard Planted In The Middle Of Wandsworth

Wendelsworth Estate residents to enjoy fruit trees in their garden

Orchard Planted In The Middle Of Wandsworth

Residents of the Wendelsworth Estate on Allfarthing Lane have planted a new orchard in their community garden.

The new trees were bedded in with the aid of the Helping Britain Blossom organisation and members of Wandsworth GoodGym. GoodGym members combine running with carrying out jobs in their local community and they frequently help out at Wendelsworth.

The original Wendelsworth Community Garden was set up in 2011 by estate residents and the Council.  A residents’ meeting was held in the autumn to plan the orchard and decide which trees would be planted, with less well-known fruits such as damsons, mulberries, kiwi fruit and gojiberries chosen alongside the usual favourites.

Helping Britain Blossom donated most of the fruit trees and provided training in how to look after them, and support for the orchard has also been provided by the Heritage Lotter Fund via the Wandle Valley Forum, and the Council’s housing department.

Martin Cobley, who leads the estate’s orchard group on behalf of the Wendelsworth Residents Association, said the garden was a real community effort, and thanked Ryan O’Kane from Helping Britain Blossom for his help. “Ryan led us through the planting process according to latest organic thinking. Helping Britain Blossom have pledged their support for the next five years and we look forward to holding future community events when he and his colleagues share their expertise."

Ryan O'Kane, Project Manager (London) Helping Britain Blossom said,"Community orchards are the future for greener cities - they offer a great way of combining the amenity value of public parks with the sustainability and food access benefits of community gardening. And they can transform bare sites into vibrant, beautiful spaces at the heart of community life."

To thank them for their ongoing help, the residents association dedicated one of the trees to GoodGym. Runners chose a cherry tree and planted it themselves. Ana Hancock from GoodGym said, “The community garden is a wonderful resource for the local residents, and Martin dedicates so much of his time making sure that it flourishes. We love being involved and will be back there often to see how the trees we helped plant progress."

The council’s housing spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: “I’m delighted that people living on this estate can enjoy an orchard in the heart of the city. If anyone is interested in setting up a community garden I would urge them to get in touch with their resident participation officer to see how the council can help.”

February 15, 2017