Allied Forces

1454758625797Our March Saturday of Orchard Love is coming up soon. Thankfully there isn’t much work along the orchard trail right now, so why not help out our friends from Southall Transition with their big planting day for the Southall Orchard Project?

Please come help plant the Jubilee Park Orchard on Saturday 10 March 2018, 10:30 – 14:30.

They will supply tools, refreshments and the Mayor of Ealing. All you need do is let them know that you are coming (please register here), wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriate for the weather and the occasion.

(photo by Southall Transition)


The Busy Trap

IMG_20180210_120943686_HDROnce again, we felt into it: we were almost too busy to take pictures at last week’s 2018 tree planting, can you believe it? You’d think we’d know better by now.

First we were too busy getting started, sorting 38 trees and bundles of hedges, tools and volunteers out. Then we were too busy planting trees and hedges in two planting parties covering the entire stretch between Osterley Lock and Blackberry Corner. Then we were too busy finishing the job with tree planting at The Piggeries and St Margaret’s Open Space, all while dodging the pretty persistent and unpleasantly cold rain.

We thank everyone who came to help regardless of the less-than-ideal weather. The trail looks really great right now and we can’t wait to see the new trees come to life in a few weeks.

Thank you, James, for taking these snaps.

Crunchy Numbers

img_20170204_110306055_hdrWhile you are getting ready to head down to The Piggeries for our 2018 Tree Planting in time for a 10:00 start, I did some number crunching:

We will be adding 38 trees today, planting ten varieties of Apple and a total of eleven varieties of Cherry, Gage, Mulberry, Pear, Plum and Quince between the Osterley Lock Orchard and Glade Lane Canalside Park, including 14 new varieties.

The Orchard Trail will feature 13 different species of fruiting trees from 75 different varieties by the end of the day, not including preexisting adopted trees, a dozen of different  fruit and nut varieties in approximately 200 metres of edible hedging and over one thousand native flower bulbs.

Who says numbers are boring?

By the way, please remember to boost our numbers today. Planting 38 trees in a stretch over 2 miles takes all the hands, shovels and spades we can get!

Oh Deer

not-a-deerThe BBC opened its Winterwatch programme with a report on Muntjac deer, reminding us that our resident park ranger James reported a possible sighting of a Muntjac in the Hanwell Meadows some while ago.

Before anyone gets excited one way or another, let me say that that reported sighting was from a great distance and is as yet unconfirmed. Reeve’s Muntjac are a modern times invasive species without natural predators in Britain, and sightings have been reported all over West London.

It seems quite plausible that a some Muntjac made the orchard trail their home though. We have no shortage of thicket, some even safe from dogs behind fencing along the railway line in the Hanwell Meadows. Muntjac are small deer with a shoulder at human knee height, but they are certainly big enough to explain some of the rabbit bite damage we have seen and couldn’t quite explain the enormous size of the rabbits required.

Muntjacs live alone or in pairs and are shy, making them difficult to find. You might be lucky to spot one, or hear its laughter-like bark. Please let us know if, where and when you do. Dare I hope you snap a picture, too?

The picture accompanying this article does not show a Muntjac deer.


It’s The Season

img_20170204_130546233_hdrOh, not tree planting again, I hear you sigh.

I very nearly thought the same, but then I clicked and watched and loved it!

Our very own videographer Steve made a clip documenting how our Friends of Horsenden Hill planted over 7000 trees this December, complete with aerial footage, soup kitchen, spoon carving and face painting: Great job, Steve!

We have only 38 trees to plant this year and can’t hope to compete with some of their facilities and attractions, but nevertheless hope that you will come and help on Saturday February 10th, 2018, 10 o’clock, starting at The Piggeries.

And we make some pretty good cakes, too!

Oh, but one thing: we have a lovely ranger in our ranks, too, but we do not always do as he says 🙂


IMG_20180113_122914775.jpgWe thank everyone for helping with a successful 2018 winter pruning – in record speed as evident from this little video:

Here are some pictures from the 2018 orchard activity kick-off.

Our next date is Tree Planting Day, February 10th. If you can’t wait until then and still promise to come help us on the 10th then you might be interested in Cultivate London’s Hanwell Community Orchard Trail. Click here for their flyer (pdf).



Pruning In Equilibrium

img_20170114_131602742_hdrThe forecast promises a dull but rain-free day, so why not come  and brighten-up the Orchard Trail with Mirjam’s guided audio-visual walking experience, or get those cobwebs out of the old bones and help with the winter pruning?

Absolutely no experience is necessary as we strive to achieve pruning knowledge equilibrium: we will teach you what you need to know unless you are in a position to teach us. All levels, ages and abilities are welcome.

We hope you’ll join our first activity of the year, followed by a discussion of all things orchard over some fruity refreshments at The Fox.

Come meet us today Saturday January 13th, 2018, 11:00 at the Osterley Lock Orchard.


Winter Pruning

j-m-01Welcome back from the festive season, and a very Happy New Year to all!

Here’s a great opportunity to start with those new year resolutions, to be an active part of the orchard trail, to help improve our local area and preserve some of our local nature gems. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s free!

Come and join our

Winter Pruning & Guided Tour
Saturday January 13th, 2018 11:00

Meet 11:00 at the Osterley Lock Orchard and join a guided tour, or join the active workforce for the 2018 winter pruning. No experience necessary but suitable clothing for either activity is recommended.

The guided tour is the perfect opportunity to explore the orchard trail if you haven’t had a chance in a while.

The pruning group will look after apples, pears, quinces and medlars from Osterley Lock to Blackberry Corner. We’ll have some tools but you’re welcome to bring your own pair of secateurs, gloves, and so on.

Both groups hope to retire to The Fox ~14:00 for refreshments.


Piggeries Progress

IMG_20170406_114423998Join us today for the final 2017 effort to tidy up The Piggeries Orchard in preparation of… wait for it… in preparation of… drumroll… in preparation of the 2018 Piggeries Orchard tree planting!

We have been working with Ealing Council and Thames Water who identified that problems exist with the drains that deal with surface water in St Margaret’s Road and in the immediate area. We understand that they are looking for a long term solution. However, as less unwanted water has been entering the Piggeries site we infer they may have found a temporary fix that at least reduces the problem, and we are optimistic that we can plant the Piggeries Orchard trees on February 24th. Today, we’ll be preparing the site by removing more bramble and nettle, stones, brick, rubble and metal in our last work Saturday for this year.

Please join us at The Piggeries 11:00.

Wear suitable clothing and shoes, bring gardening gloves and tools such as digging forks, secateurs or trimming hoes if you can. We hope to finish with refreshments at The Fox at around 14:00.

Annual General Meeting


Notice is hereby given of the third Annual General Meeting of the Hanwell & Norwood Green Orchard Trail, which will be held at 19:30 on Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 72, St Margaret’s Road, Hanwell W7 2HF.

All members of the Hanwell & Norwood Green Orchard Trail are entitled to attend and vote at the AGM. Please contact us to confirm your attendance. There is no charge for attendance at the AGM.

The complete notice and agenda can be found here (pdf).