New orchard and heritage trail open in Dulwich

05 September 2019

A new apple orchard and heritage trail have been opened by The Dulwich Estate and Helen Hayes MP, as part of community celebrations to mark the 400-year anniversary of Edward Alleyn’s original foundation, which shapes Dulwich today.

More than 500 people gathered on Sunday 1 September at the new orchard, created by The Dulwich Estate on Gallery Road, Dulwich. The event was hosted in partnership with London Wildlife Trust.

Families enjoyed nature craft activities, wood whittling, a talk on trees, music from local folk group Larkin’ The Woods, and speeches and talks from Helen Hayes, MP, The Dulwich Estate Chair of Trustees Nicola Meredith and V&A theatre lecturer Malcolm Jones. The orchard was blessed by Reverend John Watson, Vicar of St Barnabas and Christ’s Chapel and Foundation Chaplain. Locally produced apple juice and cider made from London orchards provided refreshment and home-made ice-cream was enjoyed by all.

The Dulwich Estate creates a new nature haven in Dulwich Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AE. Open weekdays 9am-5pm.

The orchard is designed by The Dulwich Estate’s consultant architect Madeleine Adams and planted with 38 heritage apple trees from the Brogdale National Collection in Kent. London Wildlife Trust will be creating an independent volunteer group to help care for the orchard. An event for volunteers will be held on 10 September. The organisation will also be using the orchard for a programme of nature learning, working with local schools in the area. For further details contact

The Village Orchard and the heritage trail are two of three initiatives by the Estate to mark 400 years since Edward Alleyn established his charitable foundation, Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift. The foundation’s legacy of providing education, sheltered homes and a place of worship, continues today.

Helen Hayes MP and Nicola Meredith, Chairman of Trustees of The Dulwich Estate open a new orchard and heritage trail in Dulwich

Helen Hayes MP and Nicola Meredith, Chairman of Trustees of The Dulwich Estate open a new orchard and heritage trail in Dulwich

“The Village Orchard is a beautiful place which offers something special in the heart of our community. It is designed as a tranquil space to be enjoyed by all those with an interest in nature. It supports the Estate’s wider work in nurturing green spaces, making this area one of London’s greenest. We are delighted to partner with London Wildlife Trust in bringing the orchard into use.  The new heritage trail takes visitors on a walk from north to south Dulwich, and brings to life local history along the way through five new permanent information sign and a walking map. We hope the orchard and the trail will provide much enjoyment to many people, for years to come.”

Nicola Meredith, Chairman of Trustees of The Dulwich Estate

“This is going to be a really amazing asset to the community for years to come. Not just for the people of Dulwich, but also for the wildlife.”

Rachel Dowse, project officer at London Wildlife Trust