A group of members gathered last Saturday and enjoyed a walk in exploration of future orchard expansion sites. While we are still evaluating the detailed results of our findings, everyone was astounded, once again, by the hidden nature treasures right in the middle of West London’s suburbia, hidden from view often by a mere hedge.
We explored the overgrown yet beautiful island between the River Brent and Grand Union Canal by Osterley Lock, where we found two pear trees (maybe once part of the lock keeper’s garden), adjacent to an airy woodland and some very ancient and seemingly healthy Oak trees.
We continued by exploring Well Meadow, another hidden treasure known to few, and proceeded through an abundance of cherry, apple and damson trees (and even more nettles, thistles and brambles) into Elthorne Rough (Elthorne Waterside).
We learnt about Oak Processionary on the way when Park Ranger James pointed out some infected trees. Following his good advise we stayed well clear but some still caught a rash, vicious little critters! (Separate article soon.)
We identified more planting sites alongside the canal (the piggery and the east end of St Margarete’s Open Space) and on the far side of the Three Bridges Monument near Glade Lane Canalside Park.
We are now busy evaluating our findings and applying for funding for trees and a small amount of infrastructure. We are delighted to see the orchard blossom in the literal and the figurative sense.