Mulching Report

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to help mulching trees and hedges at the Piggeries and St Margaret’s orchards last week.

What a fantastic way to start the new year!

Our next outing will be on Saturday February 9th to plant some trees to fill in for some losses during last year’s drought, please mark the date.



We have sometimes been fascinated, astonished and surprised to see just how much and how quickly River Brent can swell. I remember a group of us standing on the bridge by the Fox and shaking heads in wonder.

Normally a quiet suburban backwater carrying more plastic bottles, shopping trolleys and beer cans than swans and ducklings, the levels can rise drastically during heavy rains, affecting the Grand Union Canal downstream from the Fox.

I hadn’t realised how huge the Brent’s catchment area is.

If the Welsh Harp is already full and the rains come in, then there’s no surprise any more. Only wonder, astonishment and fascination remains.

I find the Brent Catchment Partnership site  an excellent resource for all things about our River Brent, which affects much of Hanwell directly and indirectly after joining the Grand Union Canal.

Artisan Woodchip

DSC_0078Happy New Year!

What better way to start the new year than return to old friends or to make a fresh start and new friends? None.

Why not join us next

Saturday January 12th, 2019
11 o’clock at The Piggeries [map]

We’ll mulch the trees with locally produced woodchip. It’s our very own home-made artisan woodchip (with thanks to the park rangers for support). It helps retain moisture and slows down weed growth while naturally composting into food to enrich the soil and help break up the heavy clay.

We’ll cover the Piggeries Orchard, St Margaret’s Orchard and Blackberry Corner, subject to weather and headcounts, and hope to retire to the Fox Inn for refreshments at approximately 2 o’clock.

We’ll bring the tools but you’re welcome to bring extra buckets or shovels. You should wear sensible shoes and clothes. We suggest that you wear a pair of gardening gloves to protect yourself from thorns and the occasional piece of metal or glass.

See you next week!

Merry Christmas

DSC_0971_v1We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, whichever your faith or calendar.

Orchard activities will resume on Saturday January 12th.

It’s the perfect opportunity to get in touch again and get those cobwebs out of the bones. Please watch this space and the Volunteer Email for details in the new year.


Location, Location

welcome-to-hanwellSome of you might have seen that coming, but it has to be done: last week’s report of the Hanwell Souring declared that this apple is named in reference to Hanwell near Banbury, Oxfordshire instead of our very own Hanwell, West London.

So, how many Hanwells are out there?

According to Wikipedia, there are three Hanwells, the two mentioned above and, unsurprisingly, Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada. It is perhaps also unsurprising yet strangely pleasing to learn that Hanwell, New Brunswick, is a rural community of not quite 5000 souls along Route 640, named by Thomas Baillie, who was born in Hanwell, West London, England.

Does anyone know of another Hanwell to add to the list?

And last not least, here’s to the obvious finale in this flimsy research: Norwood Green is listed twice: Norwood Green, West London and Norwood Green, West YorkshireNo new world namesake for Norwood Green, apparently.


Hanwell Souring

It’s the wrong Hanwell. They refer to Hanwell near Banbury, Oxfordshire

You know that. I know that. We can keep that between us, can’t we?

According to the National Fruit Collection, the Hanwell Souring (Malus Domestica ‘Borkh’) comes under a variety of synonyms, but we don’t have it yet in our collection of 53 apple trees of 23 varieties. 

We might just have missed the boat for the tree purchase for 2019, but hey there’s always 2020 to look forward to!

Walk The Walk

There’s something to be discovered and something to be enjoyed with every walk you take along the orchard trail, whoever the company, whatever the weather, whichever the season. You don’t even need to hire a local guide as you can guide yourself with our handy and pleasingly popular self-guided walk brochure, now available in its third edition.

We’re impressed.

Paper versions are available in the Piggeries, the Fox and some local public libraries, but you can also help yourself to our self-downloadable, self-printable and self-guideable orchard trail walk brochure, right here



We are pleased to report the successful completion of the 2018 annual general meeting, which was held on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. The short minutes are: all approved, nothing changed. Move on.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who came to attend this important affair.

Detailed official minutes and finance reports are available here: HANGOT AGM 2018 final mins 06.11.2018Finance Report for AGM 2018.

Meanwhile, to good orcharding continues: Some volunteers have sown the Yellow Rattle seed collected earlier this year at the Piggeries Orchard to help with biological and self-sustained meadow management. Other members are busy preparing for the planting of trees to replace those which we lost to fire, draught or vandalism.

Orchard activities will slow down with the exception of the members’ Christmas Party on Friday December 14th until the new year, when we plan to resume our regular activities on the second Saturday in each month, starting Saturday January 12th.

Watch this space for detail.


applesHave you met an Epimeliad yet?

Epimeliads are nymphs who specialise in the protection of apple trees. That makes apple trees rather special because all other fruit trees must share the more general-purpose Dryades, protecting all trees in general and oak trees in particular, Hamadryads, bonded with individual trees, or Leimakides, taking care of meadows.

Fully qualified nymphs like the Epimeliads are also available to the laurel (Daphnaeae), ivy (Kissiae) and ash (Meliae), but none is specifically allocated to plums, cherries, pears or any other variety that we grow along the orchard trail.

Perhaps some other culture is more open-minded about the wide spectrum of a diverse orchard?

Buy mythology is a living thing just like history forms as time progresses. Why should we be stuck with the narrow-mindedness of the ancient Greeks? Maybe we should simply nominate our own nymphs for plums (are there different ones for prunes, gages, plums and damsons?), pears, quinces and all the other varieties?

Nominations are welcome.

Reminder: AGM 2018

Format-NoticeIt’s almost time for our

Annual General Meeting 2018

Tuesday 6th November 2018, 19:30
72, St Margaret’s Road, Hanwell W7 2HF (map)

Please come along to the AGM. It’s your chance to help steer the project. You can join the committee or simply share your thoughts and suggestions and enjoy the free nibbles and drinks.

However, we need a quorum to continue to function as an organisation, so please join us if you can.

You can view and download the formal notice here, and the complete notice there.

Please let us know that you plan on coming. Remember, nibbles and drinks!