In 2016 members of AHDA lead by Jenny Chalmers and The Orchard Project set about finding the orchard which had been hidden within a jungle of brambles and litter for many years.
The land is owned by London Borough of Redbridge and is on the grounds of the Dick Turpin Pub. The orchard is said to date back to the late 1800’s as shown on Ordinance Survey maps 1843 – 1893.
In 2017 The Orchard Project planted 5 new apple trees to add to the existing 8 established apple trees and a pear tree. The orchard includes Bramley, Chelmsford Wonder, Ashmead’s Kernel, Peasgood Nonsuch, Blenheim Orange, Chelmsford Wonder, Ashmead’s Kernel. The pear is Green Pear of Yair D’Arcy Spice.
As a result of the hard work the orchard won The Community Tree Award at the 2017 London Tree and Woodland Awards.
The orchard is home to an array of biodiversity including Shaggy Polypore (fungus), stag beetles, a host of beautiful butterflies including Holly Blue, and the Common Darter dragonfly. We also found the rare Dorcatoma Substriata Beetle which is nationally scarce and not seen in London since 1928!
Every year AHDA, local residents along with First Aldborough Hatch girl guides, pupils from William Torbitt school and members of St Peters Church meet to look after the orchard.