Despite inclement weather, May Day was celebrated in style at the Millenium Green off Albion Villas Road. The quagmire of the day before had dried out with the help of the sun enabling the planting of six heritage apple species providing the foundation of the Millennium Green Community Orchard.
The Forest Hill Ward’s Localities Fund had provided the money for the purchase of the trees, support stakes and mulch mats and with the planting holes pre-prepared, on May Day Shaun Spiers (Chief Executive, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England), John Thompson (Director, Lewisham’s Green Scene), our respective Chair and Vice Chair Richard Hibbert and Michael Abraham, Tim Lund (Chairman, Sydenham Society), and Bruno Roubicek (local resident and AMG prime mover) popped the trees into the ground.
Work with Lewisham’s Nature’s Gym and many other volunteers over the previous months had cleared the undergrowth in preparation for the Great Day and already damson, plum, greengage and a mulberry tree had been planted.
The planting was followed by an auction. The local artist, Maria Strutz, had generously donated an apple- themed original art work entitled ‘Labyrinth’ which had been kindly framed by Jacob Twyford. Tim Lund auctioned his backpack of freshly-picked heritage rhubarb and a collection box was passed around – all of which raised a total of just over £200. This will go towards redirecting the Green’s naturally rising spring water into the creation of a small wild life water feature.
A picnic lunch (with a shower of hailstones) was followed by a performance by the Dacre Ladies’ Morris Dancers. Spectators were invited to join in – an invitation eagerly taken up by those whose feet were not numb or encased in mud.