A Community Orchard in South Teddington, Middlesex

School House Lane Orchard is a former school playground that has been converted into a community green space and orchard. It is managed by the Friends of School House Lane Orchard (FSHLO) in association with the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames’ parks and open spaces department. The Friends also work closely with South-West London Environment Network (SWLEN).

The Orchard - general viewFSHLO was formed by local residents in 2006 with the aim of conserving the site, its flora, fauna and wildlife habitats as a community resource and promoting its use as a place for the enjoyment of nature. We organise voluntary maintenance and conservation work for the benefit of the local environment and community and raise funds to support this work. 

Site management and maintenance

Volunteers usually meet at monthly work mornings from 10 am to 12 noon on the first Saturday of each month. Regular tasks include litter-picking, weeding, pruning, mowing and tidying. We meet at other times on an ad hoc basis to carry out special projects as required.

Everyone welcome – children and adults, beginners and experienced gardeners. Come for as long as you like. 

We compost, recycle and re-use green waste and other rubbish as much as possible, via leafmould production, compost bins and a dead hedge.

 Community social events

The group holds an annual summer party for the local community to celebrate the orchard and to raise funds for future work. Entertainment is usually provided by local musicians and singers.  Items sold at the party are donated and/or made mainly by local residents. There is also a raffle with prizes donated by leading local businesses.

A candlelit community carol singing event is organised in late December with musical accompaniment by a local pianist.  Mulled wine and mince pies are available.