Volunteer Morning – Saturday 3rd February 2024

The February volunteer morning took place a few days ago. As you can see in the accompanying photos, it was an overcast morning but surprisingly warm. Primroses are in flower and the bluebells that we planted a few years ago are coming through. Self-seeded foxgloves are also growing near the entrance’s steps.

The recently felled robinia trees can be seen, and have been cut into logs for use elsewhere in the woodland. A tree also fell in the last few days and can also be seen here.

Committee member Andrew Slade is shown hard at work sawing through branches so that these can be used elsewhere.

In the area of the entrance previously felled trees are being sorted into similar-sized branches to create more “bug hotels” for wildlife. The branches will eventually rot and return nutrients back into the ecosystem.

Annual Tree Inspection

On Friday the 5th of January, tree specialist Mark Clews was onsite and surveyed 150 trees to check that they were in a good condition and posed no serious threat to people while onsite. Due to the recent poor weather, an additional day of surveying will be needed next week. This is another area where the donations and annual subscriptions of members help pay to keep the woodlands in a safe condition.

Volunteer Morning – Saturday 2nd December 2023

Today was the last volunteer morning of the year. Although the temperature was only just above freezing, but there was an excellent turnout of volunteers and committee members.

In November we started to make good progress in the area next to the main entrance of the woodland by completing coppicing of old hazel trees.

We continued this work but there’s still more to do next month. We also continued to remove shrubs on the bank as you walk from the entrance towards the upper levels. Parts of these areas are already planted with new saplings. Along the boundary with Tom Smith Close, long-standing volunteer Dave Larkin can be seen planting small saplings that will form part of a new hedge area.

As you’d expect at this time of year, there’s very little growing, although it some hazel catkins were already in flower and some small buds on elder shrubs were just starting to appear.

Annual General Meeting – Wednesday, 22nd November 2023

Don’t forget that tomorrow, Wednesday the 22nd of November is our Eighth Annual General Meeting.  It will held at 7.30pm in Room QA065 (Lecture Theatre), Queen Anne Building, University of Greenwich, Park row, London SE10 9LS, to which all Friends are invited.  In addition to the business of the meeting, we are glad to say that we have Dr Mark Millan giving a presentation on “The Secret Gardeners” following the AGM.

Volunteer Morning – Sunday 5th November 2023

The early November volunteer morning was very well attended by volunteers, committee members and also volunteers from the local Good Gym in neighbouring Charlton.  The focus of this Sunday morning’s work was to coppice hazel shrubs and to remove dense holly shrubs so as to allow more light to ground level.  Coppicing is a centuries old method where the trees and shrubs are cut back to ground level so as to allow strong, new stems to grow.  Late Autumn to mid-Winter is the best time as the plants are dormant and there will be no new nesting of birds. The accompanying photos show everyone getting involved in the activities. 

The removal of holly shrubs adjacent to Glade area and the pond also allows more light to the ground by removing dense foliage.  It’s possible that the some of the holly in the woodland may have come from local gardens as noted in the shape and colours of the leaves.

In addition to the above activities, new tree saplings where also planted.  We can see our committee members with a newly staked tree and Andrew Slade watering it in.