Scythe With Confidence

Did you know that members can get free safety instructions and basic usage training for the scythe with us, with practise opportunities almost every Tuesday evening?

It’s it true!

We now offer this free to our members and volunteers. Speak to us during one of our Tuesday or Saturday activities and we’ll make individual mutually convenient arrangements.

Safety and usage instructions take approximately one hour, but you should allow for a fair amount of practise. We cannot teach you how to scythe your lawn or scythe to competition standards, but we can teach you how to manage a meadow with the scythe safely and efficiently.

The scythe is silent and sustainable, surprisingly efficient and astonishingly meditative. Come, join us and find out!


Off Kilter

Sometimes we wonder whether we are doing the right thing when cutting naturally occurring vegetation to encourage naturally occurring vegetation.

We do!

It doesn’t take very much to find motivation locally.

Over at Fitzherbert Walk, cleaver has completely overgrown and is suffocating a dozen trees planed not long ago, 50 steps away another group of trees is falling victim to nettles and bramble. Bindweed dominates even trees and bramble over at “the mount” by St Margaret’s Open Space. In Elthorne Waterside, Hemlock is enjoying a spectacular year with record density and size. We see Burdock covering and dominating large areas elsewhere.

Letting things go just lets things go to into the wrong direction. The natural balance is off kilter, but we are here to help! In our small way anyway. Click here to volunteer your assistance.

Making Hay

Folks were busy making hay as of late, albeit the inedible kind that is made up of Hemlock, Nettles, Bindweed, Cleaver and some Burdock. Oh, and did I mention Hemlock?

It’s been a good year for Hemlock, until now.

In a strangely twisted way, great fun was had by all, combined with a sense of pride and satisfaction and a well-earned drink in the end.

Many heartfelt thanks for everyone who keeps coming and helps with orchard management. It can be hard work, it can be smelly work, it can be stingy and itchy at times, it can be hold, wet or cold at times, but it always feels like this is the right thing to do.

If you haven’t yet… you should try it!

Join us ever Tuesday, every second Saturday in a month. See here for detail.

Don’t Look Away

Don’t look away! I can’t recommend it. We did, for a few weeks only, look away from Blackberry Corner Orchard. When we returned, we found that the nettles had grown over 4 feet tall, Hemlock over 6 feet, in abundance and with strong support from bindweed and cleavers. So much that we actually had to search for our trees!

The trees in Blackberry Corner Orchard are doing fine, thanks for asking.

We gave the orchard an emergency clearing this past Tuesday, opening up a circle around each tree and clearing the connecting paths. This prevents the trees from being suffocated, deprived of nutrients and improves airflow, which is important to prevent disease.

The photo shown here was taken in late April. We were so astounded by the recent growth that we forgot to take pictures (again!). But there is more work to be done, with more photo opportunities!

Join us this Tuesday June 4th 19:00 at the Piggeries for preventive clearing, and please give us a hand in finishing the job on Saturday June 8th from 11:00 at Blackberry Corner. Now is the time to act before this years Hemlock sets seed.

Our friendly volunteer email service provides reminders and details, up to the very last minute.

Natural Battery Charger

A picture is worth more than a thousand words, it is said. Here are several thousands of words worth of pictures recently taken in the beautiful evening light in the Hanwell Meadows.

We find it quite wonderful, right in the middle of London’s suburbia! You can forget being in big city, with the sound of the occasional train in the distance (while ignoring the occasional aeroplane going overhead).

Join us to recharge your personal batteries, meet old and new friends while doing something useful with our weekly Tuesday Tree Tending activities. See here for detail.

Springtime Activity

dsc00297_1We are promised perfect spring weather conditions for our extra tree planting

Tomorrow, Saturday March 30th

We’ll meet at St Margaret’s Orchard at 10 o’clock and plant about 6 new fruit trees in Blackberry Corner and Jubilee Meadows. You can help planting the trees, help with mulching, label replacement, raking and gathering recently cut nettles and hemlock. There are other light tasks as we go along, and you’re most welcome to simply go along.

Join us today for a delightful spring day out in Hanwell’s finest meadows.

We hope to be done in the early afternoon and will probably conclude business with refreshments at the Fox Inn from 1 or 2 o’clock.


P.S. Psssst! Tree Tending Tuesday re-starts this coming Tuesday April 2nd. Join us for light work, light banter, light rain and light refreshments! See volunteer email announcements or the Status and Schedule page close to the date for detail.


Walkabout with James

_mg_9310The rangers are leading a series of guided walks round the borough this year, looking at the history, wildlife and other features of interest while picking litter along the way. The walk takes two to three hours and ends in expert separation of recyclable items and waste.

The rangers will supply all equipment and make provisions to properly dispose of the collected items. All you need do is bring yourself, wrapped in sensible clothing and sturdy shoes.

Join us Saturday March 16th, 11:00 o’clock, St Margaret’s Open Space.

This event is organised by Ealing Park Rangers.

Extra Edition

Last year, with the help of Ealing Rangers, we created some EXTRA space in our oldest orchard….. This winter, we were given some ‘EXTRA’ fruit trees by the ranger of Horsenden Hill …. Now, we have all the ingredients we need for an EXTRA planting day at the end of March.
Please join us!

Saturday 30th of March is our 2019 EXTRA Tree Planting Day

We’ll meet at St Margaret’s Orchard at 10 o’clock and plant about 6 new fruit trees in Blackberry Corner and Jubilee Meadows. You can help planting the trees, help with mulching, label replacement or other light tasks as we go along, and you’re most welcome to simply go along.

We plan to finish the job with refreshments at the Fox Inn between 1 and 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Never Enough Goodness

IMG_20190209_105427We thank everyone who came to help plant the 2019 trees last Saturday: Thank you!

A good time was had by all thanks to the low-effort planting of just six trees. A little digging here and there, some snipping, some planting, a light luncheon, more talking, more walking. That’s the life!

There’s never enough of a good thing, though. Whether you are now enthused to plant even more trees or if you missed the opportunity, here’s another chance for late-comers and die-hard orchardists alike:

Our friends the Southall Orchard Project are tackling phase four of their project, to plant an orchard at Spikesbridge Park, West Avenue, Southall UB1 2AR, on Saturday 9th March 2019, from 12:00 to 14:00.

Why not lend them a hand?
For full detail please refer to their flyer right here.

In The Nick of Time

dsc00290_1It’s not too late to join us for a spot of tree planting and general orchard care

Today, Saturday February 9th, from 10 o’clock

We’ll meet at the Piggeries, then work our way down to Osterley Lock, then up through Elthorne Waterside, back to the Piggeries around lunchtime, then up to Blackberry Corner, hoping to conclude with refreshments at the Fox between 2 and 3 o’clock.

We’ll provide all the tools and even a light snack, a lively discussion and a great little walk along the orchard trail. All you need is yourself and sensible clothing.

What’s not to like?