The Place Where Plums Grow

The Place Where Plums Grow

The name Plumstead means "The place where plums grow" and old ordnance survey maps attest to the proliferation of orchards in the area at the end of the 19th century. But, with the growth of the town and the need for housing the orchards began to disappear.

In the last few years Avant-Gardening has been working in the Woolwich Common/Plumstead area and the residents we have spoken with have been intrigued by the history of the orchards in the area and, with this in mind, we are developing this new project that aims to plant a number of small dwarf orchards back in the area.

Starting in and around the community garden on Nightingale Estate we planted a small number of dwarf apple trees and ran a number of summer workshops with the children to raise awareness of the garden and fruit trees and their role in urban bio-diversity. This pilot project proved to be a great success and led to us developing the second phase of the project, to plant a wider variety of trees in the area and to encourage wider community participation. To help us achieve this aim we are partnering with the London Orchard Project and Welcare in Greenwich.  London Orchard Project are already offering volunteers a day’s orchard management training and these volunteers will share their skills with the residents when more fruit trees are planted early in 2012.

From these beginnings we are hoping to spread the project further afield; encouraging businesses and residents to become more actively involved, planting fruit trees in gardens and on unused lands to create a trail of fruiting trees. We will also be seeking funding to develop a creative and educational strand which will explore the historical and folkloric connections of fruiting trees to the borough of Greenwich. In the year in which Greenwich becomes a Royal Borough we hope to explore the royal links between fruit trees and the Borough of Greenwich, but, we will not only be looking back but also looking forward to growing a selection of heritage fruit trees which will provide nutritious, free food to local residents and visitors

To volunteer or to find out more please contact Paul on paul@avantgardening.org or call  020 3239 9174

The Place Where Plums Grow

Tree planting day February 2012 Re-introducing the plum trees to the area Another tree planted
artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation