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  • hilly 11:51 am on May 10, 2015
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    Shrewsbury Park Bat Walk 

    May 15 bat walk poster

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park‘s bat walks have become so popular that this year they will be holding two. The first will be held next Friday, 15th May, and the second later in the year on 11th September. An e-mail from the Friends gave the details:

    Hang out with the bats
    Shrewsbury Park 15th May 2015
    Meet in the car park off Plum Lane at 8.00pm for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead this adventure through the park at sunset using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!
    – Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing
    – Children must be accompanied by an adult
    – Walk lasts about 1 ½ hours and torches are helpful
    – Dogs must be kept on a lead
    – If you have mobility issues, please contact us on fspdog@hotmail.com and we will help you to participate.  The trail is a mixture of paved path, gravel and grass.
    If it rains, neither the bats nor us will be coming out!!

    The Friends will be borrowing bat detectors for the evening from the local parks forum,  the Bat Conservation Trust and London Bat Group.

    Biggles the giant Pipistrelle at Bat Fest at the Natural History Museum

    Biggles the giant Pipistrelle at Bat Fest at the Natural History Museum

    If you’re interested in bats then there will be lots of other chances to see them during the summer months. You can get really close to bats at the annual Bat Fest held at the Natural History Museum. This year it will be held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 29th and 30th August from 12-5pm. One of the many highlights is Jenny Clark and her education bats, as the BCT website says:

    Sussex Bat Hospital –  One of our most popular attractions!
    Learn about the work of Jenny the bat carer a.k.a. ‘BatLady’ who will bring her bat lodgers in for the day. These bats have been previously injured but sadly cannot be released into the wild. However, they live a comfortable life with Jenny who caters to all of their batty needs.

    Jenny, who was awarded the MBE in the 2015 New Years Honours List for her services to bat conservation, brings along examples of most of the UK bat species and shows them off to visitors.

    There will also be a number of other bat walks in the local area during the coming months. Woodlands Farm and Hall Place haven’t published the dates for their bat walks yet, but Crossness Nature Reserve have. The Bexley Wildlife blog has the details:

    Fri 14th Aug, 20:15 – 22:30
    BAT WALK– A walk round Southmere Lake and Crossness Southern Marsh, south of Eastern Way, identifying bat species with the use of bat detectors. Daubenton’s bats will be putting on a show over the lake, and Pipistrelle bats – and hopefully other species – will be hunting over the marshes. Feel free to bring children along. Bring a torch if you have one and you might want to wear some insect repellent. Sorry, there are no refreshments provided for this event
    Meet 20:15 at the Southmere Lake/ Lakeside Complex car park off Belvedere Road (SE2 9AQ)

    Fri 11th Sept, 19:00 – 21:00
    BAT WALK– A nocturnal walk around the nature reserve north of Eastern Way after sunset, identifying bat species with the use of bat detectors. Hopefully we’ll see some other nocturnal species too. Bring a torch if you have one, and you might wish to wear some insect repellent.

    Book for these by contacting Karen Sutton, the Biodiversity Team Manager at Thames Water Crossness Nature Reserve by phone on 07747 643958 or Email: Karen.sutton@thameswater.co.uk.

    If you can’t wait to see some bats here is a video of a pipistrelle bat in the hand. Remember though, if you do find a bat you shouldn’t handle it, but follow the BCT guidelines for containing it and contact the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 or email enquiries@bats.org.uk.

  • hilly 10:37 pm on May 5, 2015
    Tags: , , , st george's chapel   

    St George’s Chapel Restoration 

    St Georges Chapel Flyer May 2015

    If you have been past the grade II listed St George’s Garrison Church recently, you’ll have noticed that the restoration work is well under way, with the substantial wooden beams that will hold the new tensile fabric roof all in place. The restoration of the marvellous mosaics has also started. Pictures of the restoration have been published on the chapel’s new twitter feed @HpoSe18

    There’s a rare chance at 1.00pm this Saturday, 9th May,  at Woolwich Library to learn more about the restoration and visit the chapel. Julie Ricketts, the Heritage Project Officer for the restoration, sent details:

    Learn about the restoration project at St. George’s Chapel, Woolwich and plans to return it to community use. Find out how your community group can use the venue. Take part in Heritage Open Day and Armed Forces Day. Discover our range of volunteering opportunities.
    Presentations from the architect and mosaic conservator, followed by a visit to the site in Grand Depot Road. Refreshments provided.
    No invitation required, all welcome from 1pm in the Reader Development Room, Woolwich Library. Contact Julie Ricketts, Heritage Project Officer, e-mail hpostgeorgeswoolwich@gmail.com, Tel 0754 6265480 Twitter https://twitter.com/HpoSe18, & on Facebook

    I understand that the plan is to set up a friends group for the chapel and make it available to community groups. Should be an interesting afternoon, I’m really looking forward to learning more about the restoration of the mosaics.

    Remembrance Sunday, St George's Garrison Church Woolwich

    Remembrance Sunday, St George’s Garrison Church Woolwich

    St George shown in the Victoria Cross Memorial mosaic in St George's Garrison Church Woolwich

    St George shown in the Victoria Cross Memorial mosaic in St George’s Garrison Church Woolwich


  • hilly 6:22 pm on April 24, 2015
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    Bluebell Walk on Sunday May 3rd 

    Bluebell Walk poster

    If you’re interested in the ecology and history of Oxleas Woods then make sure you go on the Bluebell Walk through the woods and Woodlands Farm on Sunday May 3rd. Hannah from the farm wrote with details:

    Enjoy a leisurely walk through ancient Oxleas Woodlands on the bank holiday Sunday May 3rd. The walk is led by staff of the Woodlands Farm Trust and starts at the historic Severndroog Castle on Shooters Hill and end at Woodlands Farm. Barry Gray, Chair of the Woodlands Farm Trust said ‘Oxleas Woodlands are a riot of new growth at present, with bluebells, wood anenomes, wood violets and many other plants coming into flower. Perfect for a walk describing some of the interesting ecology, history and uses of Oxleas over the years’.

    The walk starts at Severndroog Castle at 1.30pm and ends at Woodlands Farm, and should take between 1 ½ – 2 hours. Why not get to Severndroog early for a guided visit and a coffee or brunch in the café. The café at Woodlands Farm will be open for further refreshments at the end of the walk.

    For more information please contact Woodlands Farm on 020 8319 8900 or email admin@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

    The last time this walk took place we saw not only bluebells but many other wild flowers, including Stitchwort, Ladies Smock, Wood Sorrel, Wild Garlic and Wood Anemones. We learned about and saw plants that are rarely seen outside ancient woodland, such as the Wild Service Tree and  Butchers Broom – species that would be threatened if a road was ever built through the woods. You can see photographs of the plants and wild flowers of Oxleas Woods in a Flickr album here. We also walked by the historic cants of coppiced Hazels and Chestnuts deep in the wood and heard about their place in medieval life.

    Very highly recommended.

    Bluebells  in Oxleas Wood

    Bluebells in Oxleas Wood

    Ladies Smock (Cardamine pratensis) in Oxleas Wood

    Ladies Smock in Oxleas Wood

  • hilly 10:48 am on April 16, 2015
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    Young Shoots & Local History Walks on Sunday 

    Woodlands Farm Monthly Walks 2014-15 poster

    If you are interested in nature or in local history there is a walk for you on Sunday. Woodlands Farm are hosting the last of their series of guided walks at 10.00am, and the Shooters Hill Local History Group have a circular walk round Woolwich Common starting at 11.00am.

    Hannah, Woodlands Farm’s Education Officer, wrote with details of their Young Shoots Guided Walk:

    Spring has firmly arrived at Woodlands Farm with lots of blossom and fields full of lambs. Join us for a guided walk round the farm to find out more about this wonderful time of the farming season. The walk starts at 10am, meeting in the green building. Sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing is required, the walk does include climbing a stile, so is not suitable for young children or buggies. The walk is free, but donations are welcome.

    Pussy Willow at Woodlands Farm

    Pussy Willow at Woodlands Farm

    Steve sent details of the Local History Group walk. It starts at the former Shooters Hill Police Station on the corner of Shooters Hill and Well Hall Road at 11.00am and is expected to take about one and a half hours at a leisurely pace. It will include: the historical background to the Herbert and Brook Hospitals; the Greenwich Free School site; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the former Woolwich Stadium site; the Ha Ha; the  historical use of Woolwich Common; former site of General Gordon’s home; former Royal Military Academy. Steve says there will be some good photo opportunities along the way.

    Sounds like a pair of very interesting walks, Let’s hope the good weather holds out till Sunday.

    The Woolwich Ha-ha on Ha-ha Road

    The Woolwich Ha-ha on Ha-ha Road

  • hilly 7:27 am on April 2, 2015
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    Woodlands Farm Lambing Day Sunday 12th April 

    Lambing Day 2015 Poster

    Lambing Day this year at Woodlands Farm is on Sunday 12th April, the culmination of a busy time at the farm. The first lamb of 2015 was born on 23rd March and since then about a third of the 50 ewes have given birth, aided where necessary by the farm’s lambing-trained volunteers.

    Maureen from the farm wrote with details of Lambing Day:

    All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Lambing Day on Sunday 12 April 2015, from 11am-4.30pm. Come and see our new-born lambs, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves, cakes and honey.  Relax in our café, enjoy the treasure hunt or get involved in craft activities. Entry is £1 for adults and 50p for children, all proceeds from entry charges and our stalls go towards keeping Woodlands Farm here as a conservation project and valuable resource for the community. A great family day out!

    Considering the farm’s events are also all organised by volunteers their annual cycle of shows is very impressive, and all of them enjoyable.

    Woodlands Farm's  first lamb of 2015 and his ewe

    Woodlands Farm’s first lamb of 2015 and his ewe

    British White cow and her calf at Woodlands Farm

    British White cow and her calf at Woodlands Farm

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