By Ellie Ross
A NEW community orchard has taken root on Streatham Common after residents planted nine apple and three pear trees on Sunday February 23.
Around 20 volunteers and 40 members of public turned up at The Rookery for the event organised by Friends of Streatham Common, Streatham Common Community Garden and Lambeth Council’s Park
The site is believed to have been an orchard since the 1800s, but ornamental cherry trees have since replaced edible fruit varieties.
The project to plant twelve trees aims to reverse the trend and return the orchard to its original function.
Six volunteers will be trained as community orchard leaders, responsible for caring for the trees.
Charlotte Dove, development officer for Streatham Common Community, said she was happy with the turnout of people interested in gardening and cooking.
She said: “This is a good project because it’s a means of educational activity – people can learn about caring for the trees and cooking with their produce.
“The apples will be really delicious and there are some interesting varieties that taste and look different from the ones you find in the supermarket.
“And of course the trees will look beautiful with blossom.”
People will be able to pick the fruit freely, but must do so in a respectful manner.
Charlotte added: “They must leave enough for other people to share. If people arrive with ladders and start harvesting everything, we’d have something to say.”