Chinbrook Community Orchard 


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Nature Conservation Handbook

Site Features
The hedges which largely surround the site are partly natural and partly planted native species, including English elm, oak, hawthorn, blackthorn,

The orchard itself, planted in 1991-92 wih a grant from the Urban Aid Program, contains traditional, mostly Kentish varieties , of fruit-trees, including 'filberts' (cobnuts ), plums, greengages, pears, cherries, walnuts and

over 30 types of old types of apples.

Some exotics, representing the ethnic groups in the local community, have also been planted, including:- lychees, loquats, Japanese wineberries.from Asia, olives, pine-nuts, grape vines and cork-oaks from, the Mediterranean,

Chilean wine-palms from South America.

The grassland between the trees is cut rotationallyand supports a good invertebrate population and also an amphibian one.

The (rare in Lewisham ), grass vetchling , grows in profusion here, having loong thin grass-like leaves and carmine coloured pea-like flowers. Teasels, prickly lettuce, too, are here.

Jays, magpies and crows can be seen here, with greefinches, chaffinches robins, wrens, long-tailed , great and blue-tits.

Kestrels and sparrow-hawks hunt over the site. Overflying, noisy, Indian ring-necked parakeets can often be seen too. Woodland birds spread onto the site from the cemetery and the nearby Elmstead and Marvels Woods.

Other Animals:
Frogs,toads, and common newts all breed in the two ponds on the site, field voles and common lizards in the grassland, in spite of the the chemicals used by the allotment holders who operate on half of the site.
Other Features: 
To the west, of the cemetery, is an extensive area of open space, including allotments sportsfields, and a formal park. Chinbrook is derived from 'Chin Brook' - an earlier name for the River Quaggy. At the turn of the 20th century,

Chinbrook Farm, a dairy farm occupied this site, in 1929, eight acres was opened to the public as a children's playground, then in 1937, a further 23 acres, purchased by the London County Council was opened to the public as a park.