Author Archives: GM

The orchard group is now Pip!

Pip logoThe Pleasaunce orchard group, a volunteer team of local people who created and continue to maintain the memorial orchard, have changed their name to Pip! – which stands for Planting in the Pleasaunce (which raises the possibility of our youngest volunteers being ‘Pipsqueaks’…).

The group decided on the name change because of members’ interest (and track record) in carrying out other projects in the Pleasaunce, besides the orchard, that also help wildlife and boost biodiversity in and around the park.

Pip! has a new web page and have put together a mission statement – click here.

A great way to keep up with Pip! events and volunteering opportunities is to join the Facebook group. We’re an informal, friendly group, and we’d love to hear from you. Typical tasks include watering the trees, doing occasional mulching, pruning and beneficial planting and who knows what else in the future – but no one is expected to do more than they enjoy! We welcome both regular and occasional contributors, and no experience or expertise is necessary, though it’s always welcome. And little ones are always welcome, too.

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A summer of Pleasaunce fun

Summer 2013 in the Pleasaunce is shaping up to be packed with fun – we’ve just added lots of new events to our What’s On page – click here. We’ve got swishing, we’ve got a ‘School’s out!’ party, we’ve got a cheese and wine do, and it includes lots of opportunities to raise money for charity while letting your hair down.

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Full line-up for our Summer Picnic

There will be something for everyone at the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce annual Summer Picnic on Sunday 30 June. Here’s the full schedule – we look forward to seeing you there. Have fun!

12.00-12.45   Rachel and Niall
13.00-14.00 Lost Chords
14.15- 15.00 Ffog
15.15-16.00 Lost Chords
16.10- 17.10  Ronnie Scott’s Rejects
For kids of all ages
13.30 14.30   & 15.30 16.30 Storyteller Giles Abbott, at The Bridge
13.30 onwards: African drumming workshop
Royal Naval College family art and craft workshops, at the Bridge
Children’s play area, at the Bridge
Bar 12.00 till close
Cake stall 12.00 til it’s all gone
Hog Roast from the Giggly Pig 12.00 til it’s gone
Pistachios Cafe open all day
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Join the fun at our Summer Picnic

6a00d8341e413353ef011570553bac970c-500wiThe Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce will be holding their annual Summer Picnic on 30 June from midday until 5pm. The big event of the Pleasaunce’s calendar, it will have something for everyone, from good-time tunes to delicious food, kids activities and a drumming workshop. Here’s a selection of who and what will be providing the fun:

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Munchkin sports begin at the Bridge

munchkinMunchkin Sports, who specialise in introducing children aged 2 to 7 to sport, will be starting athletics sessions at the Bridge on Tuesdays, starting today, 11 June.

Sessions for 2-4 year-olds will run from 10.30am and for 4-7 year-olds at 4pm.

Visit for more details.

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Forest gardening in the community orchard

The volunteers who created and care for the East Greenwich Pleasaunce Memorial Orchard tried out some ‘forest gardening’ techniques on 26 May.

Forest gardening is a permaculture-influenced method of mimicing the structure of a woodland, aiming to make the most productive use of the space available by growing at all levels – the canopy, the shrub layer, ground cover and in the soil. Choosing the right mix of plants can not only provide benefits to the fruit trees but can boost the diversity of life in the area.

Part of the volunteer term caring for the orchard

Part of the volunteer term caring for the orchard – photo by Rob of

The refreshed orchard

The refreshed orchard

We were visited by a holly blue, interested in the fresh mulch

We were visited by a holly blue, interested in the fresh mulch

Comfrey, for example, with its deep tap roots, helps bring nitrogen to the surface, where the fruit trees’ crucial surface roots can access it. Plants such as apple mint and flowering plants help to attract insects that prey on the dreaded aphids, meaning we can avoid chemical treatments – and of course we help support our threatened bee populations too. Nasturtiums can be a ‘sacrficial’ plant, drawing aphids away from the trees, while red clover not only flowers but helps keep back the grass that competes with our trees’ roots.

We were treated to blazing sunshine, as well as a new volunteer, and we got a lot done, including fitting grease bands to deter ants, and a welcome refresh of the mulch circles, which, among other things, help the young trees retain crucial moisture. Then, a few days later, two of the group took up a generous offer of collecting free surplus Chelsea Flower Show plants, distributed by the good people at Lewisham Gardens. This allowed us to add still more beauty to the orchard, and others may somehow have ended up lining the platform of Westcombe Park station, thanks to some mysterious guerrilla gardeners.

If you’d like to keep up with events and volunteer opportunities at your community orchard, feel free to join our Facebook group.


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Join our community orchard volunteer day, 26 May

Orchard Workday Poster - Colour

Artwork by Graeme McGregor,

The Pleasaunce orchard and growing group is holding a volunteer day on Sunday 26 May, from 10am onwards.

All are welcome, children and adults, to help carry out some tree care tasks to help our young apple, pear and plum trees grow strong and healthy.

We’ll not only be weeding and refreshing the mulch circles around the trees, which helps them to get the water and nutrients they need in their early years. We’ll also be trying some ‘forest gardening’ techniques by planting plants and sowing seeds that are known to help young trees. Come along and learn about these methods, meet other volunteers and help make a healthy orchard for the future.

If you have your own spade, trowel or handfork to bring along, that would be really helpful – and if children have their own child-sized tools, even better. If you don’t have tools, don’t worry, please come along anyway.

You can join our Facebook group, too, to keep up with events and news from your community orchard. And you can check out the orchard section of this site.

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Official launch party of The Bridge

Bridge poster

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