Iona Orchard SINC

Iona Orchard is a nature reserve, an old orchard which was formerly the gardens of the pair of villas on Ravensbourne Park close to the junction with Bournville Road.

Having fallen into disuse some time around the middle of the last century the site was 'rediscovered' in 2012/13 and is now being managed by Nick Pond, the Council's Ecology Manager and by volunteers from the Ladywell Fields User Group as a nature reserve. 

The site is a designated 'Site of Importance for Nature Conservation' (SINC) and is currently owned jointly by the Borough of Lewisham and by L&Q Housing Association.

There is a Management Plan in place which sets out the way the site will be managed and what the priorties are between 2013-18.  The site plan appended outlines in diagramatic form the key elements in the Management Plan.  In 2012 and 2013 nine new fruit trees, from traditional varieties, were planted with the help of the Urban Orchard Project.
In January 2014 the Rushey Green Assembly allocated funding of £1,500 to cover the purchase of tools and a tool vault to support volunteering activities in the nature reserve during 2015 and beyond.  Following delays in transfer of the funds, the tools were purchased and delivered in December, and a water butt installed. 

Three volunteer sessions have been run so far in 2015 both in Iona Orchard and in the new orchard just 50 yards away in Ladywell Fields.  This included some winter pruning and mulching under the watchful eye of our master orchardist, Caroline.

For information on future volunteer workdays, open days etc. in Iona Orchard, please click on the 'Get Involved' tab.  The hope is that a programme of regular open days and volunteer sessions will be in place from Spring 2015.  To register a specific interest in such activities please email and we'll make sure we email you about sessions being planned.
Robert Sheppard