Who We Are

Westcombe Woodlands view from Tom Smith Close
photo by Sue Jenkins

The Friends of Westcombe Woodlands are not seeking to change the unique wild nature of the woodlands. We do not plan regular public access, as given the steep nature of the land this is potentially unsafe. For one or two days a year we want to invite the public in, under supervision, to see what is happening and to experience the diversity of the woods. There are also regular volunteer days in which we seek to clear, improve and plant different areas.

We are working on a Management Plan, building on that provided by Trees for Cities in 2011, which will be available to all members and on which we will welcome views.

The trustees who sit on the Executive Committee, all drawn from the local community, are:

Chair – Tim Barnes

Tim has many years’ experience as chair of the Greenwich Society and lives locally in Crooms Hill. He is involved in other local amenity groups, being a trustee of the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice and chair of the St Alfege Restoration Appeal. He has had a long standing interest in the woodlands. In his spare time, Tim continues to practice as a KC at the Criminal Bar!

Don Albrecht

Don is a landscape architect, moving to Greenwich in 1996 to study at Greenwich University. He’s now a partner in Landscape Consultancy practice, Ireland-Albrecht, with offices in Greenwich town centre. Don is a Friend of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, a member of the Greenwich Society, and is interested in developing the unique environment of the Woodlands.

Chris Bates

Chris moved from rural Cheshire to Blackheath in 2000, living for several years in the development, Seren Park Gardens, which immediately borders Westcombe Woodlands.  Although now living in the London Bridge area, he continues to be an active member of the Woodland Committee.  He has a degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry with an additional HNC (Higher National Certificate) awarded from The Scottish Wildlife Trust in Habitat Surveying for Nature Conservation. In addition to the above Chris has been members of the environmental charities “Plantlife” and “Trees for Life” for over 15 years. Currently he works for a Health and Safety consultancy in south-west area of London.

Nigel Duncan

Nigel Duncan is professor of legal education at City Law School, where he trains barristers. He lives in Vanbrugh Hill, having moved to this area a few years ago. As well as volunteering in Westcombe Woodlands he is a Friend of East Greenwich Pleasaunce and has, with others, planted the community orchard there. He is a member of the Westcombe Society and a Friend of Greenwich Park and has a long-standing interest in maintaining and improving the environment.

Richard Sylvester

Richard lives in Calvert Road, Greenwich and volunteers with several local projects such as the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and Planting in the Pleasaunce (Pip).  With Greenlight Trust in Suffolk he is part of the team training teachers in the Forest School approach to outdoor learning. As a professional storyteller and local historian Richard researches and leads local walks and delivers storytelling for all ages at the National Maritime Museum and Kew Gardens as well as numerous community and public events.

Miles Storey

Miles retired from a career in Banking a few years ago and whilst not especially green-fingered, has an interest in supporting local societies looking looking after the finances to allow fellow members to focus on the aims of the society. He has been a member of the Friends for many years and has lived locally since 1987, currently in Westcombe Park Road.

Lieve Reckers

Lieve Reckers was born in Belgium but moved to London straight after her university studies. Greenwich became her new home in the 1980s, and in 1992 she moved into the Maze Hill cul-de-sac.
After working in the City for 30 years, mainly for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, she took early retirement in 2010 and became a Westcombe Woodlands volunteer in 2011. Her interests include writing, photography and travel, often for long stretches and in rather basic conditions. She is also a very keen hiker and cyclist and takes a great interest in environmental matters.

Andrew Slade

Andrew moved to Maze Hill in 1978 and has always worked as a surveyor in various forms in UK and abroad.  He is a member of the Greenwich Society and as a Friend of Westcombe Woodlands keen to attract a wide variety of wild life into the woodlands by developing the appropriate conditions.   Using his experience in education Andrew hopes to encourage Young Naturalists to explore and enjoy this unique environment.

Henry Medlam

Henry Medlam was officially elected to being a Trustee of Westcombe Woodlands in November 2022. More details soon.

Fiona Machen

Fiona Machen was officially elected to being a Trustee of Westcombe Woodlands in November 2022. More details soon.