Spring Picnic

_MG_8109It’s the famous and famously informal

Spring Picnic

Tomorrow, Sunday May 14, 2017, from 12:00

… and usually in mostly fine weather!

Bring a drink and food to the sharing table, bring a picnic blanket, a smile, a child and a friend! We’ll be by the sheep in Jubilee Meadows (map) and look forward to enjoying a relaxed Sunday in the company of friends, right in the heart of the most beautiful Spring meadows.

You can reach us on foot from the entrance at Trumpers Way by the railway line, or across the lock behind the Fox Inn, Green Lane. (Click for location and access details.) Get in touch with us if you need special assistance.

Bring food and drink to the sharing table if you like. Please bring only as much as your own party would consume and be prepared to take leftovers back.

Meadow Mulching Extravaganza

Please join our

Meadow Mulching Extravaganza
Today from 10:00.

We’ll be moving and applying woodchip and straw for mulching all across the Hanwell Meadows and, headcounts permitting, the Piggeries. Mulching suppresses weed growth, helps preserve moisture and composts down into nutritious food for the tree.

We can take any help we can get!

All you need is wear sensible clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring gardening gloves, digging forks, buckets or wheelbarrows if you can. Bring a friend, a packed lunch and a bit of sunshine. We’ll be done in time for the Hanwell Hootie!

Meet with us at 10:00 in Jubilee Meadow by the railway crossing (map), or find us at any time somewhere in the meadows.

Update 09-May-2017: Here are some photos, thanks to James:

All Hands On Deck!

img_20170204_122145702_hdrSpring is here even though we enjoyed a chilly version this past week! With spring comes growth, with growth come weeds, with weeds comes weed control, and with weed control comes you! There’s also pruning and watering and all-sorts of jobs.

Please come help with the forthcoming activities. We have a huge area to manage and offer a simple yet rewarding opportunity to do the right thing and to get involved. Suntan gratis! (Subject to conditions.)

Hanwell Meadows Mulching Extravaganza

Saturday 6-May, starting 10:00 to end in time for the Hanwell Hootie. Meet by the railway crossing, bring a bucket or a wheelbarrow if you can. Gardening gloves, sturdy shoes and suitable clothing are a plus. Bring yourself and a friend!

Spring Orchard Picnic

Sunday 14-May, starting 12:00. The social highlight of the year so far! Meet by the sheep in Jubilee Meadow. Bring food and drink to the sharing table. (Please only as much as your own party would consume. Please be prepared to take back left-overs!) Bring a game, a child, a friend, a neighbour, and a smile.

Every Tuesday Evening

Every Tuesday Evening is Tree Tending Tuesday. We meet in various locations along the orchard trail at 19:00, spend 1 1/2 to 2 hours with various orchard tasks, then retire to a local public house for a chat and a drink. See our website or follow our Twitter for location and last-minute updates.

Every First Saturday in a Month

Join us and help apply Saturday Orchard Love every first Saturday in a month. We meet in changing locations around 11:00 for 2 to 3 hours of orchard care. The perfect opportunity for everyone who can’t make the Tuesday evenings, or just get enough of it! See our website or follow our Twitter for location and last-minute updates.

Please support the orchard trail and become an active part of it. We manage over 100 fruit trees, spread over more than 2 miles, and we take all the help we can get! Nobody needs to be there all the time; you can help once in a while, for an hour or with every activity from start to finish. Experience, special tools or skills are not required. Satisfaction guaranteed!


Spring Dates

tttThe events are rolling in for the Spring 2017 season; please mark these dates for fabulous opportunities to be involved. It’s never to late to make new friends, meet the orchards or to take it out on some brambles and nettles!

Sat 8-April 10:30 – 15:30, Piggeries Celebrations

We’ll be pulling more weeds and digging more brambles, apply woodchip for mulching the hedges along the fence and the back wall, and sow the meadow and wetland areas with native grasses and flowers.

We’ll also celebrate the opening of the Piggeries Orchard with a slice of cake and a speech!

Sat 6-May 10:00 – 14:00, Meadows Mulching

Mulching in the beautiful Hanwell Meadows, with an early start and finish on account of the Hanwell Hootie. This is the first event in our new Saturday Orchard Love series, and we need every hand we can get with this one!

Sun 14-May 12:00 onwards, Spring Orchard Picnic

The big event in every local orchardist’s calendar, the popular spring orchard picnic in the heart of the Hanwell Meadows by the sheep! Bring something to eat and drink to the sharing table, bring a smile, a child, a friend and join us for a relaxed social event in the centre of this most beautiful hidden treasure.

1st Saturday in each month, Saturday Orchard Love

Starting 6-May at 10:00, normally at 11:00. Your regular opportunity to apply orchard love in varying locations along the trail. See the right sidebar on our web site for details of every event (at the bottom of the page for mobile phone users), or follow our Twitter.

Every Tuesday evening, Tree Tending Tuesday

Tree Tending Tuesdays are back! A grand reason to finish work and get out into nature, apply some general tender love and care to the orchards, the orchard trail and its surroundings, and (optionally) finish with a refreshment at a local public house.

As always, be sure to check our web site,  Facebook or Twitter for details or last-minute announcements and changes. See you soon!

Ventilating The City

P20160228141103The Museum of London will launch its City Now City Future season soon, and we’ll be part of it!

From May 2017 to April 2018, the season explores key challenges and solutions global cities face today. The season includes a major exhibition, a series of public events, artistic commissions, workshops, discussions, walks and talks. And it includes the Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail!

We have been invited to participate in the Ventilating the City section. We will be part of a digital interactive table display in the heart of the exhibition, give a talk about our project on 31-August-2017 13:00-14:00, and hope to produce and publicise a self-guided walk through the orchard trail.

Pretty cool, ey?

Spring Clean

img_20161103_111918It’s the Great British Spring Clean weekend!

We’ll be planting soft fruit in St. Margaret’s and in the Piggeries today from 11:00, and will join the Friends of Osterley and Clitheroe Locks to help pick litter along the Grand Union Canal Corridor later on.

Join us if you can. We’ll be working along the canal between Osterley Lock and St Margarets (by The Fox) from 11:00, starting at both ends, so you can’t miss us.

Alternatively go and help any other of the many spring clean activities in Ealing. Here’s a list: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/news/article/1607/great_british_spring_clean_comes_to_ealing


Phenomenal Plant Planting

img_20170204_130546233_hdrOur heartfelt thanks, as ever, to everyone who volunteered and helped enthusiastically in the planting of fruit trees at Osterley Lock and Elthorne Waterside last week!

The group was so enthusiastic, in fact, that more trees than originally planned ended up in the soil at Osterley Lock, and fewer than planned were planted in the Elthorne Waterside terrace behind the “Bambi” statue.

We are happy to report 18 new fruit trees in total, 17 of which were planted at Osterley Lock, including Medlar, Pear, Apple, Plum, Quince and Black Mulberry. We can’t wait to see them come into bloom and fruit!

We are now evaluating and deciding whether to acquire more trees or postpone the filling-in on that terrace.

Trees, Trees, Trees

p20160130131842Why not join us for today’s fruit tree planting?

We’ll be meeting at

Osterley Lock
Today, Saturday February 4th, 2017, at 10:00.

We will be planting over a dozen of mixed varieties fruit trees in the extended Osterley Lock Orchard, and we’ll be repairing the damage caused by vandalism by extending a small group of trees on the canal-side terrace in Elthorne Waterside to a small orchard. Hopefully this will make a better impression on the vandals rather than fuel their fires even more!

Join us if you can. Bring a pair of gardening gloves, a spade or a watering can if you can. Everyone’s welcome!




Happy New Year

aptyeHappy New Year to you!

Time and nature don’t stand still and neither do we.

Members of the committee are busy preparing to join an exhibition and event by the Museum of London later this year. Others were busy planting lots and lots of bulbs over the Christmas season, including a considerable number of native bluebells at Osterley Lock. Some members of the committee are still trying to get Waitrose West Ealing and Green Redeem to release funds we were promised a considerable time ago, and we are busy finalising arrangements for the upcoming planting days detailed below. The levels of activity around watching a few tree grow can be quite astonishing, really. Here’s where you come in:

Piggeries Planting Day
Saturday 21-January, 10:00-14:00

Join us at the Piggeries. Wear sensible clothing and shoes, bring gardening gloves. A pair of secateurs or a spade might be useful. Check this website and our Twitter for last-minute changes. [map]
More about the Piggeries status below.

Brent Meadow Orchard Planting
Saturday 28-January, 10:00-13:00

Help Trees for Cities and Ealing Council plant a new community orchard in Brent Meadow alongside Uxbridge Road, opposite Ealing Hospital. See their web site for details at http://www.treesforcities.org/projects/brent-meadow-ealing/. Let them know you’re coming by registering for the event to ensure sufficient supplies of cake and refreshments: http://bit.ly/2iPa6Fw.

Osterley Lock and Elthorne Waterside Planting
Saturday 4-February, 10:00-14:00

Join us at Osterley Lock, wearing sensible clothing, keeping dogs on leash and small children under supervision as ever. Gardening gloves, watering cans or spades will all come handy. [map]

Last but not least, here’s an update on the piggeries:

The site has now been cleared, the path constructed, the fence installed. We think it looks marvellous, and people often stop and tell us the same. The pond has been excavated and tree planting locations have been identified, dug out and filled with shingles for drainage and top soil for growth.

We discovered that the site suffers from an unexpected and unusually high water table, only a foot beneath the surface. We have now decided to postpone the planting of fruit trees until the situation is understood better. We are working with local authorities and Thames Water to identify cause and solutions. Those include improving pond overflow and site drainage, diversion of water flow, slightly raised trees or identification of more suitable tree planting locations around the perimeter of the site. We are confident that the issue can be solved or worked around in a reasonable manner, it just needs a little more time and investigation.

Until then, we plan to proceed with general site preparations and planting of flower bulbs, hedging along the back wall and towpath, and seeding of a wildflower meadow.

Osterley Lock Expansion

(Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland)

(Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland)

Its time to get hands and boots dirty! Come help clear vegetation at the magnificent Osterley Lock Orchard and help plant 1000 flower bulbs to make the site even magnificenter!

Saturday December 17, 2016
10:00 to 14:00
Osterley Lock [map]

We’ll be cutting trees, removing litter, brambles and nettles, and we’ll build dry hedges around the perimeter. This is in preparation of an extension to the orchard with ten new fruit trees, to be planed February 4th, 2017.

We’ll be crushing and flailing some of the nettles in one part and pulling nettles in another. Be part of the historic experiment, which we hope will settle the ancient argument about effectiveness versus feasibility of these two methods!

We’ll also be making a start at planting one thousand light bulbs awarded to us by Bulbs for London, a Metropolitan Public Gardens Association initiative, for a colourful spring display.

Bring a drink and a snack if you like. Wear sturdy shoes and clothing, and bring a pair of gardening gloves if you can (for, or rather against, all those nettles and brambles). Bulb-planting tools or knee pads might also come handy.

See you on the 17th!