Where d'you like them apples?

The Council would like Brockley Central readers to help it identify possible sites for a new community orchard in Brockley.

Here's the note of explanation from Cllr Dean Walton, who's also blogged about the issue.

One of the proposals for the Localities Fund was to establish/look at a Community Orchard. There were some big questions we had to answer before we knew whether it could be viable and as a result I proposed that we undertake a 'feasibility study' to set out answers to these questions and perhaps propose something that could ultimately be used as the basis for a bid within the mayor's fund supported by the Brockley Assembly.

We've got to the stage that within money available for the study £500 it will not be possible for 'site identification' survey to be included. However there would be enough money to review a named site or two in detail...here comes the Brockley Central Blog.


Do you think your readers would be interested in suggesting sites for a community orchard? I will probably cover the same issue on my blog at some point soon - and we can co-ordinate. I will also see if I can do some limited publicity around the parks/noticeboards if necessary.

The idea for an orchard found a lot of support during last year's Localities Fund debate and it would be a welcome addition to Brockley's growing list of green assets. We like the idea of a Brockley apple juice stall at future Summer Fayres, produced and sold by local school children.

We've asked Dean to tell us how big a site we need, but the example he references in his blog is home to 200 trees and 30 fruit bushes. We imagine Brockley's would need to be considerably smaller.

Are there any sites in need? At the recent Brockley Assembly, the old tennis court site on Lucas Street was mentioned as a semi-derelict area in need of conversion. That would be our suggestion.

36 comments:

Amanda said...

Wickham Gardens

Bea said...

Yes, I second that. Wicham Gardens would make a great orchard.

Anonymous said...

Hilly Fields

Tressillian James said...

I agree with the Lucas Street patch - I thought of that piece of ground before I realised that it was the same patch being refered to on Lucas Street

Tressillian James said...

Or we could turf the scouts off their patch of land on Breakspears and let them use a a;lready established venue - but that wouldn't be very nice.....would it?

drakefell debaser said...

I agree with Wickham Gardens, it is nice and central.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

The Lucas Street patch would be an ideal location, but I think it has to be ruled out on account of it being a covering over the railway line; tree roots could compromise the structural integrity of the railway.

However I think we should look to see if we could perhaps have a Brockley Berry Garden! Raspberry canes, gooseberry bushes and perhaps a covering of hop poles for a proper Brockley Brew!

Dean

Anonymous said...

How about a bean bush?

Tressillian James said...

Or turn that stretch into much prised alotments...as for the Orchard on Cranfield Road there is a block of flats (can't remebmer their name) - there is an extensive area behind these flats that I suppose at one time had parking and garaging - but now is not used. Could this be turned into said Orchard? Fruit trees would not have an extensive root network - so would not disturb the building - and the residents may enjoy looking out on fruit trees, rather than disused garages and empty concrete.

Anonymous said...

How about somewhere near the station - on the mantle road side there are several derelict sites where it doesn't look as if any development is going to take place

Tamsin said...

For a berry garden - just let the brambles grow around the edges and civilised raspberr canes etc. in the middle.

drakefell debaser said...

I think the main problem with putting the orchard Westside is it falls into a different ward.

drakefell debaser said...

A good place to plant berries would be in the fenced side of the alley on the westside entrance which is quickly filling up with rubbish.

People could forage on their way to and from work and make smoothies at home.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that alley is turned into the entrance to platform one from street level on mantle road. Seems the easiest choice.

drakefell debaser said...

I had forgotten about the proposed entrance and that is definitely preferable to berries.

It would be nice though if people didn't use that space as a tip in the meantime. There is a bin right there after all.

The Cat Man said...

Mmmm Berries.

Native ones please :)

Hugh said...

Why can't we have allotments instead? perhaps bulldoze the conservation area infill and sell the plots to patrons of Lewisham Market.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Sectioning off an area of Hilly Fields would make most sense, but I believe most of Hilly Fields is in the Ladywell Ward.....

Unless someone knows differently.

Brockley Nick said...

If you section off some of Hilly Fields, all you do is swap one nice bit of green for a different nice bit of green.

I'd rather turn some bit of scrub land or brown field in to a little oasis.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I would agree with you Nick, but I don't know of any scrub or brown field land that the council owns in Brockley apart from Lucas Street which we are told is not suitable.

Any nominations?

Oh, we are now back where we started.....

Out of interest who owns the square in the middle of Wickham Gardens.

I know there are coucil flats on one side but private houses on the other. It maybe part owned by the houses.

monkeyboy said...

i'm worried that hugh is turning into a socialist

Anonymous said...

I was going to raise the issue of scrumpers - but I suppose the idea of today's children regarding an apple as an object of desire is pretty laughable....

(creaks off towards armchair...)

Anonymous said...

Imagine if they had fried chicken legs hanging from the trees?

Tamsin said...

Unfortunately there would be the fear if not the reality of whoever owns the orchard - the Council or a company limited by guarantee? - being liable if scrumpers broke in and injured themselves.

I have been pondering this, though, in another context and you would need the premises to be relatively trespass proof - so people have such a hard job entering it really is at their own risk - and open for a few days a year with some means of checking that the first-comers on those days don't strip the place. It would be do-able though.

Tamsin said...

What would also be nice would be bees.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

@Tamsin/others

When I formally commission the consultant to complete the study, I'll ask to look at these points. If the orchard idea is to become a reality we'll have to answer questions like this at some point, so as far as possible it's best to address these now.

Love the idea of the bees...

Fried chicken wings (or the damn boxes that litter the streets afterwards) not so sure. But on a serious point, the Pickering Orchard says this on the website -

"As part of the government’s 5 A DAY programme, the Hull & East Riding Public Health Development Team have worked with the local community and Kingston upon Hull City Council to plant and maintain an orchard to provide fruit for local residents. The project’s main aim is to promote healthy eating, but its benefits have been far more wideranging."

If the young people in Brockley are scrabbling about to eat fruit rather than fried chicken wings then perhaps we can all claim credit for that.

Hugh said...

Monkeyboy, socialism is fine with me provided I have the biggest allotment.

I believe in equality, after all.

Anonymous said...

the 5-a-day programme was run through the Big Lottery Fund, you can download the full evaluation and related programme info from their website. or call them, they would be happy to give you more info.


My vote on location is firmly, definately, no question: Wickham Mews. I know, it would mean getting permission from all the freeholders along Manor ave & Wickham Rd -- but, god, how lovely would it be!

Amanda said...

This idea is great and I'll support it wherever it is in the ward. I was thinking about how it works though. Would it be akin to the set up of those Kent farms, where you pick fruit and pay a bit for the upkeep of the orchard?

Headhunter said...

I don't think it would work along any of the mews in the conservation area, a lot of them are stil used for access, however little. One of the flat owners on Wickham Rd in particular often drives small trucks and cars up and down and uses the end of his garden as parking, I believe. He has also paid to surface a small part of Wickham Mews behind his land and applied for planning permission to build a garage and "outbuildings", so I doubt everyone would be happy for the whole lane to be planted with trees. In any case it's not a public right of way, so access would be solely at the discretion of home owners in Manor Ave and Wickham Rd....

Anonymous said...

How about (shock horror) actually placing it outside the conservation area? Luxmore Gardens, off Rokeby Road, is an invaluable piece of green land but does not get the use it would do if it were converted into something useful, like an orchard....

Tressillian James said...

Anon- I think you'll find if you read up the thread that suggestions are being made for outside the conservation area - the first strong contender was Lucas Street, until we realised that the 8.15 to Cannon Street (and a bundle of other trains)thunders under it every day.

Anonymous said...

Once we've found a place for the Orchard, how about a vinyard? If Lucas Street can't have the Orchard they could have a vinyard. Brockley Wines sold at the Summer Fayre and Xmas Market would be great.
Brockley Jim

fabhat said...

Brockley Jim,

When I lived in SE1 there was a large contingent of cider loving online posters who gathered together to make SE1 cider...it was apparently a great success, so perhaps some cider apples can be planted in the orchard too.

liz said...

At the Crofton Park Assembly Coordinating Group, Councillor Scott, I think, said that the land that runs down the side of Crofton Park Station used to be an allotment.

Struck me it would be the perfect place for an orchard, scrumping, foraging and smoothie making.

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