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  • hilly 5:13 pm on December 19, 2014
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    Solstice Stroll on Sunday 

    Woodlands Monthly Walks Poster

    If you’d like to escape from the pre-Christmas hectivity and get some fresh air and exercise, then head for Woodlands Farm at 10.00am on Sunday for a walk around the parts of the 89 acre farm that visitors don’t usually get to see. This is one of a series of monthly guided walks at Woodlands: Hannah, the Farm’s Education Officer e-mailed details:

    Monthly walks at Woodlands Farm
    Most people who visit Woodlands Farm don’t get much further than our farmyard, however there are a further 85 acres of wonderful London countryside, wood, hedges and meadows, to explore.
    So join us for our monthly guided walks around the farm in all seasons and all weathers. Our walks will highlight seasonal farm activities such as hedging, lambing, the history of the farm and how it works.
    Meet at the Green Education building at 10 am. The walk will take about two hours. Please wear stout footwear and appropriate clothing for a winter walk. As we will be going through the fields we regret that the walk is not suitable for buggies or those with restricted mobility.  In the event of bad weather the walks will be cancelled.  The walks are free, but we appreciate any donations.  Although you do not need to book if you would like to let us know you will be attending or have any questions please call 020 8319 8900.
    Sunday’s, 16 November – Autumn Walk
    Sunday 21 December – Winter Solstice Walk,   On our solstice walk there will be a seasonal hot drink at the end.
    Sunday 18 January – Winter Walk,
    Sunday 15 February – Valentine’s Walk;
    Sunday 22 March – Spring Equinox and spot the first lambs;
    Sunday 19 April – Young Shoots
    So get those boots out, dust them off and come to join us.
    Woodlands Farm is located on the borders of the London boroughs of Bexley and Greenwich.  At 89 acres, it is the largest city farm in the UK.  Our priorities are education and conservation, and we are part of the Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.  Our education programme attracts visitors from pre-school to third-age groups.  The Trust aims to involve local community groups, schools, volunteers and businesses in farming and conservation, helping to bridge the current town-country divide.
    We are open 9.30am-4.30pm, Tuesday-Sunday (except Christmas Day).  There is no entry charge except for special events, though donations are always welcome.

    And as an extra bonus on Sunday the walk will finish with a glass of mulled wine.

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm, looking towards the golf course and water tower

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm

     
  • hilly 3:17 pm on December 7, 2014
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    A Christmas Carol at Severndroog Castle 

    A Christmas Carol at Severndroog Castle poster

    The Lady James Room at Severndroog Castle is the venue on Sunday 14th December for a performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” using the reading script that Dickens himself adapted from his book and followed for his own public readings. Dickens gave the first public reading in December 1853 and read it 127 times up to the time of his death in 1870 with  audiences of up to 3,700 people.

    Dr. Barry Gray from the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust wrote with details:

    The Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust have arranged to have a fundraising reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for one night only, at Severndroog Castle, on the evening of Sunday 14th December 2014. Seats are strictly limited by the constraints of the castle size, and early booking is advisable. The reading is by Roger Gartland, formerly of the National Theatre company, who has performed this traditional Christmas work for a number of years, to sell-out houses in a variety of venues.
    The tickets are £12 each and include a mulled wine/soft drink and mince pies during the interval. Tickets can be brought for cash at the castle during opening times on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, or online from http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-christmas-carol-a-ghost-story-by-charles-dickens-tickets-14748817109 There is a small booking charge when booking online. Show lasts approx. two hours, including 15 min interval. Probably not suitable for children under 10 years.

    Roger Gartland trained in repertory and was a National Theatre player for seven years. He was a co-founder of, and toured with,  the touring theatre company “Not The National Theatre”. He has appeared at the Globe Theatre and in the West End, and his work also  includes film, radio, voice-overs and TV.

    What a very Christmassy thing to do – a performance of A Christmas Carol in a gothic folly in the woods accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies.

    The Lady James room at Severndroog Castle

    The Lady James room at Severndroog Castle

     
  • hilly 4:10 pm on November 21, 2014
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    Community Clean-up Weekend 

    Friends of Eaglesfield Park poster

    Two local community groups will be having a tidy up session this weekend: The Friends of Eaglesfield Park on Saturday and the Mayplace Lane group on Sunday. Both would welcome help.

    The Friends of Eaglesfield Park had hoped to have their final pond maintenance session of the year a couple of weeks ago, but the council hadn’t cut the meadow beforehand so it wasn’t possible to sow the wild flower seeds. Volunteers at that session mainly worked on clearing excess vegetation from the pond, which meant donning waders and getting into the pond to pull up unwanted plants and increase the pond water’s surface area. More work is needed on reducing the pond plants, and, as the meadow has now been cut, the wild flower seeds can be sown.  Madeleine from the Friends wrote with the details:

    A short note to let you know that SATURDAY 22nd November (10.30am – 1.00pm) will be our last maintenance session before Spring 2015.   To provide a rich habitat for wildlife and a beautiful focal point for visitors to the park, there are 2 very important tasks that require attention:
    – reducing the pond vegetation.  It is urgent we complete as much as possible now to ensure pond creatures are not disturbed in Spring.  We can provide full length waders!!
    – rough-raking the ground and sow wildflower seeds  (meadow has now been cut).
    I think we could achieve our tasks in the allotted time, but we really do need your help.   Whatever time you could spare will be much appreciated and will make an enormous difference to the quality of habitat for all local wildlife and greatly enhance visitor enjoyment of this special corner of Eaglesfield Park.
    I hope you will be able to join us.   I’m afraid we do not have any gardening equipment – would it be possible for you to provide your own (e.g. garden rake, spade/fork, secateurs, builders plastic buckets, gardening gloves)?   Don’t forget to wear wellies.
    Of course, weather permitting !

    The next Mayplace Lane community clean-up will take place on Sunday, 23rd November between 11.00am and 1.00pm. Local residents will be clearing rubbish and removing weeds from the lane and possibly planting plants and bulbs. Greenwich Council will again provide equipment such as litter pickers and bags for rubbish, and will collect any rubbish at the end of the session. If you’re planning to come along then it’s worth bringing some strong gardening gloves.  If you have anything stored in the lane you may wish to move it to ensure it is not thrown away.

    Mayplace Lane

    Mayplace Lane

     
  • hilly 11:08 am on November 20, 2014
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    Christmas Fairs 

    Woodlands Farm Christmas Fair poster

    We have three local Christmas Fairs to look forward to this year – Woodlands Farm, Shrewsbury House and Severndroog Castle all have Christmas events in the next few weeks. Plus there is an early Christmas shopping opportunity this weekend at the  “Mudlarkers Christmas Pop-up Shop” run by local artist Tide Line Art.

    Maureen from Woodlands Farm wrote with details of this year’s Christmas Fair:

    All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Christmas Fair on Sunday 30 November 2014, from 11am to 3pm.  Come and watch the arrival of Father Christmas on the pony trap driven by Bob the Shetland pony, sip mulled wine whilst browsing stalls of local produce and crafts for early Christmas present ideas, or relax in our café while the children enjoy crafts and games.  A great festive day out for all the family.  Entry is free – to visit Father Christmas is £3 including a gift.  Donations are always welcome – all money raised helps us to care for our animals.

    If you are a supporter of Woodlands Farm you might want to think about becoming a member, which you can do at the farm stall at the Christmas Fair. As well as getting the farm’s excellent newsletter and free participation in some activities such as bat walks members can attend the farm’s AGM and vote for board members, and membership fees help support the farm’s animals and educational events. Individual membership is only £12 a year, with family membership £18. Having a strong set of regular supporters will also help protect  the farm against any future threats, such as a motorway to a new river crossing.

    Christmas-Craft-Fair-2014o

    Shrewsbury House and Severndroog Castle both have their Christmas events on 7th December. The Christmas Craft Fair at Shrewsbury House has become an annual event and is usually packed with interesting stalls. It is open from 11.00am to 4.00pm, entry free. This year they also have two shows by the Wiggly Wild Show, at 11.15am and 1.15pm. The Wiggly Wild Show teaches environmental education to children assisted by a variety of animal accomplices, such as  “hermit crabs, hissing cockroaches, praying mantis, toads, newts, garter snakes, bearded dragon, scorpions, giant millipedes, beetles, giant snails, gecko, hedgehog, stick insects and more!”  Father Christmas will be at Shrewsbury House too, hopefully rested after his exertions at the farm the week before.

    Severndroog Castle

    Severndroog Castle

    Severndroog Castle’s Christmas Market is one of a series of events they are running in December. The market will be open from 11am-3.00pm and promises “Mulled Wine & Mince Pies, Cakes & Cupcakes, Hot Food & Drinks, Craft, Food, Drink & Sweets Stalls, Storytelling & Family Activities”. The Castle have another Christmas event, “Step into Christmas”, the day before the market. Their web site gives details:

    Step into Christmas
    Saturday, 6 December Performances 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm
    Severndroog Castle introduces Eldorado Extra (a subsidiary of Eldorado Musical Productions) to bring you a programme of songs and poems to put you into the Christmas spirit. Some songs you might expect but others will surprise you. So come and join the fun. The performance will last an hour and will be followed by mince pies and a glass of wine/soft drink
    Ticket includes access to the castle, viewing platform, an optional historical tour and a glass of wine with a mince pie.
    Tickets £10 each – tickets can be bought at the castle (cash only) or booked online (booking online includes a booking fee)

    Tide Line Art create very expressive pieces of art using flotsam and jetsam – driftwood, pieces of glass and pottery, old rope, plastic, and other discarded odds and ends – much of it collected while mudlarking along the banks of the Thames. I especially like their fish made out of pieces of broken glass that have been worn smooth by the tides, and have a beautiful example on my bathroom wall. They are holding a pop up shop at The Studio, 75 Lassell Street, Greenwich SE10 9PJ from Friday 21st November (5pm – 9pm), Saturday 22nd November (9am to 6pm) until Sunday 23rd November (11am to 5pm).  We’re all invited to pop along “for tea and biscuits and to have a browse. lovely stocking fillers, art and upcycled jewellery.”

    Seems like time to start Christmas shopping.

    Mudlarkers Christmas Posterhop psoter

     
  • hilly 5:36 pm on November 2, 2014
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    Little Shrews playgroup at Shrewsbury House 

    Little Shrews leaflet

    Amelia wrote to let me know about a new play group for babies and young children called Little Shrews which starts at Shrewsbury House next Thursday, 6th November at 1.30pm. She wrote:

    The group is aimed at babies and toddlers and will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30-3:30, starting on Thursday 6th November 2014. There is a suggested donation if £1 per family and tea and coffee available for the adults.
    The group was suggested to Shrewsbury House by three local mums. Shrewsbury House have been incredibly supportive and aware of the large number of parents in the area. They really want to encourage a friendly community space which will work as a drop-in for parents, carers and their little ones throughout the area. We will be having themed events as the group grows and hope to have guests, nappucinos and even musical entertainment at times!

    Shrewsbury House will be a great venue for the playgroup which joins a very wide range of other groups which use the Grade II listed building, from photography and Iyengar Yoga through to French and fencing.
    Shrewsbury House entrance hall

    Shrewsbury House entrance hall

     
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