Introducing the Brixton Orchard, a new green space with 35 fruit trees and hundreds of edible hedges, showcasing how fruit trees can be integrated into urban spaces.
By growing fruit trees, we can reconnect people with food growing and spark some curiosity about the amazing diversity which cannot be found in shops. Unique apples with red flesh and juice, sweet cherries, sour cherries, damsons, plums, quince, mulberry and pears will be grown here, chosen to celebrate the amazing heritage and deliciousness of fruit.
The timing of this orchard is fitting, as you may have read recently that the intersection of Brixton Road and Coldharbour Lane broke the EU legal limits on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) 120 hours into 2017, making it the most polluted road in London during the first week of January.
Green space can help alleviate different types of emissions mostly through carbon sequestration, the process trees use to absorb carbon, and emit oxygen from CO2 in the air. Nitrogen dioxide is a traffic-related pollutant and can be intercepted by tree cover, removing it from the air and reducing it in the immediate vicinity.
The Orchard has been commissioned and funded by the Brixton Business Improvement District and has received funding from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund. The trees were selected by the Open Orchard Project, who have collaborated with us to design the space and coordinate the works.
Brixton Orchard aims to spark ideas and start discussions about how we can reconnect people with their food.
If you want to get involved, sign up here and come down to our volunteer days on Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th of February, with Friday 3rd and Saturday the 4th of March being the main planting days.
The space will be maintained by teams of orchard-eer apprentices throughout the year, training local people how to care for and make the most of this natural resource.
In addition to the partners mentioned above, we are extremely grateful to the Library of Things, the Community Shop West Norwood and St Matthews Church in Brixton for their support in time and resources.