Orchard planned for Hilly Fields

First, a new playground, then a cricket pitch. The next innovation for Hilly Fields is a community orchard, planned for later this year.

The Transition Brockley group revealed at tonight's Brockley Assembly that they have been working with the London Orchard Project to develop an orchard of pear, apple and plum trees, which will be planted this autumn.

One of the Transition Town movement's central aims is to promote local food production through incremental change.

36 comments:

Local resident said...

...and soon there will be no space to run around. An orchard. Whereabouts?

I thought the whole point of the orchard movement was to reclaim old gardens or wasteland - not convert perfectly good playing fields.

Has the council agreed to Transiton towns proposal? Are, we, the local residents going to be consulted. The Brockley Assembly is hardly the venue to dothat. Much like Hilly Fields isn't the best place for a community orchard

Brockley Nick said...

I would say that the Assembly is a very good place to consult local people. I agree that I hope that some unloved spots can be reclaimed for orchards - that is actually happening, as I will report soon.

However, I wish people wouldn't immediately criticise plans they know nothing of. My understanding is that it will not occupy open grassland, the trees will fit in to the existing pattern of the park. I'll bring more details soon or contact the Transition Brockley group and ask them about it (nicely).

Sue said...

When they say orchard, I believe it is actually a fairly small number of trees, that the Friends of Hilly fields are proposing to site in the area between the stone circle and the conservation area. So very much a mini orchard that shouldn't impact on the rest of the fields. I know the Friends of Hilly Fields are very particular about maintaining sightlines from the top and think carefully about the positioning of trees, benches etc to avoid blocking views. (Of course they may change this policy if the town centre developments go ahead . . .)

Friends of Hilly Fields have their meeting next week, 9th March, 7.30pm, park keepers' room, if you want to hear more about their plans.

Tamsin said...

If the town centre developments go ahead we might all be planting leylandii!

Brockley Nick said...

Oh please! Heaven forbid we should have any other type of building than an unending sea of brown houses to look out over. Just don't look north and east if you don't want to see tall buildings :)

Anyway, Sue, thanks for the extra detail, rest assured we'll be covering the orchard in more depth at a later date.

Tamsin said...

I was sort of joking. Even disproportionate towers in the middle distance are better than leylandii in your face.

Will there be bees as well as trees (the latter do need the former) and alliterative Hilly Fields Honey?

Richard Elliot said...

Brockley Jam from the fruit!

Hilly fields is massive, there will be plenty of space to sensitively plant some trees.

Whino said...

How about some grape vines so we could have Brockley Wine.

monkeyboy said...

Fancy planting trees in a park, the worlds gone mad.

Hugh said...

All in favour of fruit trees. Was Brox once largely a market garden?

As for encouraging local food production, pull the other one. I thought LBC had purged its loony left.

Whino said...

Maybe we will see the old art of scrumping, Instead of mugging and shoplifting.

Tamsin said...

There was a thread earlier about an urban vine co-operative. Back to Roman times when Kent was a major viniculture region.

Pete said...

We've got an apple tree in our garden which I believe could be older than the house. Rather obviously it was all farm land before the housing was built so could well have had a few orchards.

Anonymous said...

You don't need an orchard. What you really need is a skateboard park. They are all the rage now.

drakefell debaser said...

I have a pear tree in my garden that also pre-dates the house and a neighbour a few doors down has an apple tree.

There are people in Tooting that make their own wine so it is possible - http://ow.ly/1e4eW

Anonymous said...

@ Hugh: What is loony about encouraging local food production?

Anonymous said...

Do they still do horse riding on Hilly Fields ?

Matt-Z said...

A think the definition of an orchard is four or more fruit trees. Hardly a forest covering the park and puting an end to all other activities.

It would be great if they planted traditional local cultivars and species, but I'm sure they've already thought of that.

Anonymous said...

Have DogSoc been consulted?

I'm sure they'll appreciate the foliage and the snacks by way of the apples - but they have a right to a say.

Bit cold for dogging, will resume in the spring said...

Hmmm, five portions of fruit a day? well four portions of fruit and a right good portion of.....

Bit cold for dogging, will resume in the spring said...

Hmmm, five portions of fruit a day? well four portions of fruit and a right good portion of.....

William Canynge said...

Ludicrous idea. A park is a park. It is a recreational space. If you want to turn a park into a productive space then fair enough, redesignate this land as smallholdings or allotments or whatever. I don't want Hilly Fields to be involved on "local food production". It's not a space for food production. The allotments on One Tree Hill are a space for food production. Fine, that's what it's about. Can the minority opinion yet admittedly well organised Transition Brockley please stop imposing their "vision" on the rest of us?

Tressillian James said...

Agreed, William. Well put

Tressilliana said...

I don't see why it's ludicrous. Warwick Gardens (border of Camberwell/Peckham) is about to get a little orchard, and that's a lot smaller than HF. Why can't we have a little orchard as part of a planned process of replacing trees? Trees are one of the great glories of Hilly Fields, in my view, and the sight of a dozen or so fruit trees in full blossom in spring would be a great joy for all of us.

ppp said...

There's plenty of fruit for free in Brockley already if you look closely around. Cherry, plum, pear and apple trees abound. Tressilian Crescent, has overgrown tree which drops good quality pears onto the pavement come late summers. Makes great tarts.

Anonymous said...

Not seen the detailed plans, a few apple trees would be fine surley? Will the orchard be closed off? Need more detail before we get into a froth.

William Canynge said...

I have no problem with planting fruit trees. I have no problem with them being planted on Hilly Fields, if it's to add to the aesthetic and natural experience of being in a park. I do, however, object, to the implication that my local park needs to change its function from being a park to being a place to grow food because of a belief that we need to take this action because the oil is about to run out and we need to change how we use our local area to prepare for this. Until we are all agreed that we need do this and change the way that we live, can we please leave Hilly Fields as a park and not turn it into a glorified small holding?

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the implication that an orchard is set up to feed Brockley when the apocalypse comes!

Monkeyboy said...

Well we'll be OK for fruit, every cloud eh?

Anonymous said...

There's many a ripe banana up on Hilly Fields

William Canynge said...

Isn't that the central proposition of the Transition Town people, anonymous?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes William, essentially it is.

However, one doesn't need to believe that the end of the world is nigh in order to welcome a sympathetically-planted few fruit trees in a local park.

M said...

Wipe the froth off your upper lip, William. It's a few fruit trees - they aren't planning to compulsorily purchase your garden and turn it into a beetroot farm.

William Canynge said...

Well, as I've never had any success in growing beetroots that's no bad thing. But I wouldn't grow those beetroots in someone else's garden . . . as a previous contributor said, why not find some waste ground to transform instead? I'd come out and help with that, but as an almost daily user of HF and massive sceptic of the transition town approach (though not a sceptic of climate change or the need to tackle it) I reserve my right to hold this point of view.

Anonymous said...

There are a few courgettes, cucumbers and even the odd marrow being cultivated up on Hilly Fields!

Anonymous said...

Jesus. Yes ok - we get it! Knob gags - hilarious! Lol!
Will you go away now?

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