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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.