Category Archives: Volunteer Days

Volunteer Day – Sunday 4th September 2022

Last Sunday, the 4th September, was the latest Westcombe Woodland volunteer morning. Another unseasonably warm day greeted the committee members and volunteers, although turnout was a little quiet, no doubt due to the ongoing Summer holidays.

Lots of flowers were now in fruit, as can be seen in this post. Below are photos of hogweed seeds and elderberries. Blackberries are now past their best.

Elder berries
Hogweed seeds


Part of the maintenance for September involved pruning the hedge, and there are also a couple of photos of committee members Donald Albrecht and Nigel James Duncan hard at work.

Committee member Don Albrecht just visible pruning a hedge.
Committee member Nigel Duncan also pruning the hedge next to the pond.

Pond update

No one could have noticed the really hot and dry July and August. The water in the pond had really dropped, so volunteers spread 2 tarpaulins over the ground so as to direct rainwater into the pond. There have been quite a few wet days and this has resulted in water levels rising. The water butt near the shed also supplied rainwater via a hose and gravity, as well as rainwater from the water butt near the entrance being added to the pond.

New visitor!

Finally, one of the most interesting observations was the appearance of several cyclamen flowers in the Oak Glade area. These haven’t been planted but appear to have somehow arrived and self-seeded. These are a welcome splash of delicate colour at this time of year.

Where did these beautiful flowers come from?

Hoping and planning for rain!

Given how dry the pond is (no standing water – just mud) we decided to spread tarpaulins to direct any rain that should fall into it. Here are a couple of pictures of the centre of the pond, and Frank and Don having spread the tarpaulins. Now everyone – let’s hope for rain!

A very dry pond becoming drier by the day!
Volunteers hard at work early in the morning.

Early Spring Plant Survey

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, saw several committee members take part in our early Spring plant survey. We were led by local botanist Jane Lawson, who will soon be making her report available with her results of what she found in the Woodland. It was a really beautiful morning, and the accompanying photos show an amazing variety of plants in flower and coming into flower.

Photography Competition – New Entrants

New entrants have arrived in the photography competition! Woodland visitors Edward Mayo and Courtney Plank have submitted the accompanying photos for April. The next time the Woodlands will be officially open is for the volunteer morning and Spring Open Day on Sunday 1st May at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm respectively. Don’t worry, you still have plenty of opportunities to enter later this year. If you want to be included, you can still take a photo of the Woodland this month, but it will have to be looking into the Woodland, but that’s not a problem! So, we have Reed & Pond, “Elsie” the Lurcher and finally Steps down the Woodlands.

Elsie the Lurcher
Steps down the Woodland
Reed and Pond

Photography Competition

Following on from the success of a photograph competition held by the local charity, The Greenwich Society in 2021, it has been decided that the Westcombe Woodlands is going to organise a similar competition for people who come along to the Woodlands’ volunteer mornings and open day events for both members and non-members. The main rule is that all photos should be taken inside or of the woodlands.
There will be six categories, depending on age and subject, with the winning photographs being not only displayed on the Westcombe Woodlands’ website, but also for inclusion in our anticipated calendar for 2023. Entries are to be submitted by October and for there to be a prize winning event to take place soon after the early Autumn Open Day event, to allow for the potential production and sale of calendars at the November and December volunteer mornings.

A butterfly resting on a leaf. This photo was taken with an iPhone 7.

The Chairman of Westcombe Woodlands, Tim Barnes, will be contributing £600.00 from
the Peter Harris Trust to fund the prizes. Each winner of the 6 categories below will receive £100.00. All entries will be judged by a panel of judges whose details will be announced at a later date and the judges will select 6 winners which, in their opinion, best capture The Westcombe Woodlands character in the months that this competition is running. The categories are for children up to the age of 15 and for those ages 16 and over. These will be sub-divided as below:
1 Age 16 and over with a main subject of any flora or fauna
2 Age 15 and under with a main subject of any flora or fauna
3 Age 16 and over depicting people in the woodlands
4 Age 15 and under depicting people in the woodlands
5 Any age and any subject but using non-specialist or low budget
equipment including the use of mobile telephones
6 Any age and subject but using professional equipment

Full details and rules are available in our latest newsletter and leaflets will be available onsite during our normal events.