Woolwich Opera Works’ “WOW – It’s Christmas” concert on Sunday

The accomplished professional singers of Woolwich Opera Works will be performing for us again on Sunday at All Saints Church on Herbert Road, starting at 4.00pm in a concert entitled WOW – It’s Christmas.

WOW’s web site describes the event:

WOW – It’s Christmas!
Join Jeremy Silver, Alison Dunne, Maciek O’Shea, Dominic J. Walsh, Samuel Stopford & Angela Yang in a celebration of operatic winter and Christmassy cheer! Hear music by Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Schubert and more in a concert for everyone, especially people who are new to classical singing! Christmas jumpers are welcome but not a pre-requisite, and this concert will also include a Kid’s Corner with activities for the little cherubs.
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
We will also be announcing our 2020 Season so you won’t want to miss that!

As usual the concert is free but there will be a collection at the end. Refreshments are available in the interval.

Wonderful singing in a lovely setting. Unmissable!

Tanya Hurst  performing at Woolwich Opera Works' Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
Tanya Hurst performing at Woolwich Opera Works’ Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
 Maciek O'Shea performing at Woolwich Opera Works' Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
Maciek O’Shea performing at Woolwich Opera Works’ Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
Angela Yang performing at Woolwich Opera Works' Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
Angela Yang performing at Woolwich Opera Works’ Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
 Dominic J. Walsh performing at Woolwich Opera Works' Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill
Dominic J. Walsh performing at Woolwich Opera Works’ Songs of September at All Saints Shooters Hill

Celebrate Tree Charter Day with the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands on Saturday

Tree-lined Coulthurst’s Drive in Oxleas Wood
Tree-lined Coulthurst’s Drive in Oxleas Wood

The Friends of Oxleas Woodlands will be marking the Woodland Trust Tree Charter Day this Saturday, 30th November, with a stall near Oxleas Wood Café from 10.30am to 2.00pm. Tom, the Friends‘ Chair, wrote with details:

Sat 30th November, is the Woodland Trust Tree Charter Day, and the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands will have a stall near the Oxleas Wood Café, between 10.30 – 2pm (approx.) where we will be offering some guided walks (as well as self-guided walks), talking to people about the Woodland Charter and Oxleas Woodlands, and organising some family activities like Bark and Leaf Rubbing, woody identification, colouring in activities, and also encouraging youngsters to plant an acorn in a pot and take it home to grow – with a view to bringing it back and planting it in the woods next year.

Tree Charter day is celebrated on the last Saturday of November each year. The Woodland Trust describes it as: “a day for the whole of UK society to unite in celebrating the value and importance of trees and woods to people. “

 Autumnal trees in Oxleas Wood
Autumnal trees in Oxleas Wood
 Autumnal tree in Oxleas Wood
Autumnal tree in Oxleas Wood
 Autumnal trees in Oxleas Wood
Autumnal trees in Oxleas Wood
Tree-lined Coulthurst’s Drive in Oxleas Wood
Tree-lined Coulthurst’s Drive in Oxleas Wood

Eaglesfield Park Autumn Pond Clearing

Pond Clearance CANCELLED

Message from Friends of Eaglesfield Park

While the Parks team has secured resources they don’t have the all important waders!

Look out for a new date in January.‬

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park will be clearing the park lily pond and the garden around it tomorrow, 24th November, between 9.00am and 2.00pm, and would welcome volunteers to help. They wrote:

Can you spare any time between 9am to 2pm this Sunday 24 November to take part in the ‘Autumn Pond Clearing’ and help keep Eaglesfield pond a haven for wildlife and a place we can all enjoy?
Residents and park users will be joining forces with Greenwich Council Parks Department staff to help clear the overgrowth of plants in and around the pond so that it can continue to thrive when spring comes.
Giving even an hour of your time would be so helpful.
Just turn up on the day or for more information please call: 07734 810402 and see the attached PDF.
Please bring gardening gloves, garden rakes and forks if you have them.
Thank you and please share this message with friends, family and neighbours!

Do pop along and help the Friends get the pond ready for winter.

Local volunteers working on the pond in  March 2012
Local volunteers working on the pond in March 2012
The grand opening of Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond on 15th June 2012
The grand opening of Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond on 15th June 2012

Woodlands Farm Christmas Fair and Stick Man at Christmas

Woodlands Farm will be holding their annual Christmas Fair on Sunday, 1st December, from 11am to 3pm, and will host an event for children, Stick Man at Christmas, on Saturday 7th December.

Maureen sent details of the Christmas Fair:

All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Christmas Fair. Come and meet Father Christmas, sip mulled wine whilst browsing stalls of local produce and crafts for early Christmas present ideas, or relax in our café while the kids enjoy crafts and games. A great festive day out for all the family. Entry is £1 per Adult and 50p per Child.

. Meet Father Christmas and his elves in the magical grotto
. Local produce and craft stalls
. Children’s festive activities
. Rock Choir 1pm & 2pm
. Mulled wine & cider
. BBQ & The Pretty Little Tea Company

No parking, please use public transport
Buses 89 & 486 stop outside

Should be a good day out as usual.

Father Christmas arrives at Woodlands Farm, drawn by Bob the pony
Father Christmas arrives at Woodlands Farm, drawn by Bob the pony

Hannah sent details of the Stick Man event:

Stick Man at Christmas
Saturday 7th December
10am, 11am and 1pm
Come along to our Stick Man Christmas event. Watch the Stick Man film before heading off round the farm on The Stick Man Activity Trail. Find everything on the trail before heading off to Santa’s grotto to be given your special certificate and a present from Father Christmas himself. £8 per child (+ booking fee). Sessions start at 10am, 11am and 1pm. Booking is essential. Please arrive 15 minutes before the time of your booking as the film will be starting on the hour. To book go to our website www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
For more information, see our website or contact Georgiana Irimia on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

Woodlands Farm Christmas stall
Woodlands Farm Christmas stall
Seasonal scarecrows at Woodlands Farm
Seasonal scarecrows at Woodlands Farm

Friends of Shrewsbury Park AGM and other events

The Friends of Shrewsbury Park AGM on 14th November will consider the topic of biodiversity and what it means for the park. The Friends have also arranged a quiz night and a bulb planting session in November.

They e-mailed the details of the AGM:

Annual General Meeting
Thursday 14 November 7-8.30 pm
Shrewsbury House (bar open next door)
We hope you can come to our AGM?
In addition to the business meeting and election of management committee members there will be time to raise your park ideas and issues.
‘Why should I care about biodiversity’ kicks off a discussion specific to Shrewsbury Park’s natural habitats and what part we humans play. There will be input from a panel of guest speakers: Claire Lambert and Jack Partridge (trees) from RBG Parks and Open Spaces along with members Les Clark (a bat and hedgehog enthusiast) and John Denton (butterflies and hedgerows).
Then it is time for everyone to add to and evaluate actions we can put forward.
2020 calendars will be on sale (£5) and new park greetings cards (£2)
See you there!
FSP Committee

101 Sun Salutations for Greenpeace at Shrewsbury Park
101 Sun Salutations for Greenpeace at Shrewsbury Park

The National Biodiversity Network‘s recent State of Nature report (pdf) highlighted the decline in biodiversity in England:

Our statistics demonstrate that the abundance and distribution of the UK’s species has, on average, declined since 1970 and many metrics suggest this decline has continued in the most recent decade. There has been no let-up in the net loss of nature in the UK.

They report that 13% of species in England are threatened with extinction from Great Britain, and that 36 plant species have become extinct.

Shrewsbury Park is listed in the Royal Borough of Greenwich Core Strategy (pdf) as a “Site of Importance for Nature Conservation – Site of Borough Importance, Grade I”, with the contiguous areas of Shooters Hill Golf Club and Woodlands Farm. Together they form “An extensive mosaic of habitats, ranging from ancient woodland, secondary woodland through scrub to rough grassland and wetland.” The area is home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife including at least two animals mentioned in the Greenwich Biodiversity Action Plan (pdf) as priority species: bats and hedgehogs. The Mammal Society assess the Hedgehog as Vulnerable, and estimate that populations have declined by as much as 73% since their 1995 review to just 522,000. Some estimates put their decline at 97% since the 1950s. The are often seen on bat walks in the area: what can we do to help them? This will be one of the items discussed at the meeting.

Ringlet butterfly in Shrewsbury Park
Ringlet butterfly in Shrewsbury Park

The Quiz Night will be on Friday 22nd November:

Here are the details of our latest quiz – these are always great fun, and a fantastic way to enjoy a Friday night! Do join us!
Friday 22 November
6.45pm for 7.30pm start
Tables of 6 – £5.50 per person
Shrewsbury House, SE18 3EG
Tickets can be purchased using the link above or here
Bar is open from 6.30pm
Fantastic raffle prizes!
Our thanks to our amazing quiz masters, Dee and Geoff.

Tree in Shrewsbury Park
Tree in Shrewsbury Park

Then on Sunday 17th November the Friends will be planting spring bulbs and bramble bashing:

Come and join us planting our Spring bulbs!
Sunday 17 November – 1.30pm
Bulb planting/Bramble bashing event! Sunday 17 November at 1.30 (an hour or two).
Meet at the crossroads in the Park, bring a trowel, strong gloves and secateurs if possible. Kids especially welcome! You will get dirty.

Perhaps we’ll be able to clear some of the footpaths through the old allotment site on Dot Hill.

Shrewsbury Park view
Shrewsbury Park view

Woodlands Farm Apple Day and half-term events for children

It’s Woodlands Farm‘s annual Apple Day event this Sunday, 13th October 2019, starting at 11am, and they also have some activities lined up for children in half-term week.

Maureen wrote with details of Apple Day:

Join us for a celebration of British apples on Sunday 13 October 2019 from 11am to 4pm. Discover and buy different types of traditional British apples. There will be music by Skinners Rats, tea and cakes from our Café, plus a BBQ. There will be a variety of activities including: apple pressing to make delicious juice, stalls selling local produce, including our own honey and homemade jams, and an opportunity to try some delicious Kentish cider. A great day out for all the family. Entry: Adult £1, Child 50p. All proceeds go towards keeping Woodlands Farm here as a conservation project and valuable resource for the community. A great family day out!

I’m looking forward to trying some interesting apple varieties, and getting some of my favourite Egremont Russets.

Apple Day at Woodlands Farm
Apple Day at Woodlands Farm

Hannah, the farm’s Education Officer, sent details of their half-term activities for children:

October Half Term
Tuesday 22nd October Make a bead bracelet 1-3pm
Drop by to have a go making your own bead bracelet. Use your creative skills to create colourful and decorative bracelets using our selection of beads and buttons. No need to book, just drop in. £3 per child
Wednesday 23rd October Passionate about Ponies 10am – 12noon
Do you want to find out all about ponies? Then come down and see our pony Bob and have a go at our pony and horse fact trail before making your own pony craft to take home. No need to book, just drop in. £3 per child.
Friday 25th October Horrible Halloween 11am – 3pm
Drop by for a day of Halloween crafts and a trail. Explore the farm and try and find all our creepy hidden creatures and then make your own Halloween craft to take home. No need to book, just drop in £3 per child.

For more information, see our website or contact Hannah Ricketts on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm
Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm
Apple Day at Woodlands Farm
Apple Day at Woodlands Farm

Woolwich Opera Works’ “Songs of September” concert on Sunday

The wonderful Woolwich Opera Works will be performing another concert, Songs of September, at All Saints Church this Sunday starting at 4pm. As usual they have a line up of talented, professional opera singers and “will feature music of Verdi, Puccini, Schubert, Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Britten and have a particular focus on art song but still with lots of classic favourites!”

The artists performing on Sunday are Tanya Hurst (soprano), Maciek O’Shea (bass), Dominic J. Walsh (tenor and artistic co-ordinator), Paul Plummer (pianist) & Angela Yang (soprano).

Woolwich Opera Works previous concerts at All Saints have all been inspiring musical occasions, even for those who aren’t great opera fans. We’re lucky to be able to experience such talented musicians in such an intimate venue. Their last concert, “Cooling Classics”, in June, finished with an audience sing- along to the Toreador song from Carmen led by Baritone Grant Doyle. I understand that the culmination of Sunday’s concert will be a similar sing-along to Volare by Franco Migliacci and Domenico Modugno.

The concert is free but there will be a collection at the end. Refreshments are available in the interval.

Amar Muchhala (Tenor), Grant Doyle (Baritone), Jeremy Silver (Piano). Hollie-anne Bangham (Mezzo-soprano) and Clémence Gleizes (Soprano) at Woolwich Opera Works' Cooling Classics concert
Amar Muchhala (Tenor), Grant Doyle (Baritone), Jeremy Silver (Piano). Hollie-anne Bangham (Mezzo-soprano) and Clémence Gleizes (Soprano) at Woolwich Opera Works’ Cooling Classics concert

Bat Walks in Shrewsbury Park, Woodlands Farm and Oxleas Woodlands

With International Bat Night coming up it’s great that there are three local bat walks in the next couple of weeks, at Shrewsbury Park, Woodlands Farm and Oxleas Woodlands.

The first of the three is next Friday, 23rd August in Shrewsbury Park. Kris, Chair of the Friends of Shrewsbury Park, sent me details:

Bat walk Friday 23 August – 8.15pm
After a short intro next to the notice board by the Plum Lane car park, Les Clark will lead us through the woods and glades where the bats hang out. Bat detectors supplied.
Booking essential –
eventbrite.co.uk/e/bat-walk-shrewsbury-park-se18-tickets-55871554323
*Wear sturdy shoes and weather-appropriate clothing
*Children must be accompanied by an adult
*Walk lasts about 1 ½ hours and small torches are useful
*Dogs must be kept on a lead
If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact us on werfsp@gmail.com and we will help you participate. The trail is a mix of paved path, gravel and grass.
If it’s raining neither bats nor us will come out!

The Woodlands Farm bat walk is the following week, on Thursday 29th at 7.30pm, but I see from their web site that it is already fully booked.

The following day, Friday 30th August, the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands have their bat walk. Their August Update gave details:

Bat Detecting
Friday 30th 8pm
Meeting at dusk we will use bat detectors to track down these nocturnal residents in their natural woodland habitat.
The Friends of Oxleas Woodlands is a community organisation run by volunteers. Walks are free for members & under 16s, otherwise £3 and need to be booked at suereeve@virginmedia.com

Lots of opportunities for night-time walks in our local green spaces hunting for bats.

Sophie the Serotine Bat, one of Jenny Clark OBE's educations bats
Sophie the Serotine Bat, one of Jenny Clark OBE’s educations bats
Brown Long-eared Bat, one of Jenny Clark OBE's educations bats
Brown Long-eared Bat, one of Jenny Clark OBE’s educations bats
Hibernating Natterer's Bats in Highgate Tunnels
Hibernating Natterer’s Bats in Highgate Tunnels


Pet massacre memorial unveiling on Saturday

View of the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
The Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery

Three special new memorials will be unveiled on Saturday, 10th August, at 2.00pm at the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery, including one remembering the pets euthanised in the second world war in the British Pet Massacre. Liz, chair of the Friends of the Pet Cemetery sent me details:

Memorial event at the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
Saturday 10th August 2019 2.00 pm

At 2pm on the above date three new memorials will be unveiled at the old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
A plaque in tribute to all animals that have lost their lives in conflict in the service of their country
A plaque in memory of the 2,500,000 Domestic Animals euthanised during WW11 on government orders
A plaque depicting the collar tag of a dog named Bonzo, found on Greenwich beach by a local Mudlark
We look forward to welcoming you to the Pet Cemetery where there are over two hundred little Memorial stones some dating back over one hundred years

Headstone in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
Headstone in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery

The new memorials are the result of research by one of my favourite local artists, Nicola White, who creates art using objects discovered when mud-larking along the Thames Foreshore. One such object was a dog tag for a dog named Bonzo: Nicola describes how she found the Bonzo ‘s owner in her Tideline Art blog. The tag also led her to a book, “Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945” by Clare Campbell which includes the story of the “British Pet Massacre” in World War II. Some 2.5 million pets were euthanised, including 750,000 in a single week . Nicola’s story inspired a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a memorial for these pets, leading to the memorials which are being unveiled on Saturday.

Headstone in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
Headstone in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery

Liz also sent information about how to get to the Pet Cemetery, further information is available on the Friends’ website:


Visiting the Pet Cemetery
There is no parking on site, please park in Farjeon Road SE3 8SA or Charlton Park Lane SE7 8QS
Train from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, and Victoria to Blackheath
Bus 89 from Blackheath Station to Hornfair Park Lido
Look for the blue road sign opposite The Fox Under the Hill and take the path running alongside the flats and wall which will bring you to the Pet Cemetery
The Committee of the Friends of the Pet Cemetery, FOPC, hope you will be able to join us for this event
If you are interested in having a plaque made in memory of a much-loved pet to go onto the Memorial Wall
Please contact Liz McDermott Chair Friends of the Pet Cemetery FOPC
mcdermott_liz@hotmail.com 07815558680
Jean Patrick Secretary Friends of the Pet Cemetery FOPC jmp179@sky.com 07977208362

Memorial plaques in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery
Memorial plaques in the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery

The Past in The Park Time Walk on Friday

Local Archaeologist Andy Brockman is leading a local history walk, The Past in the Park, this Friday starting at 6.30pm in the car park in Shrewsbury Park. The Shrewsbury House poster gave the details:

The Past in The Park Time Walk
Friday 26 July – 6.30 pm
Meet in the Car Park of Shrewsbury Park
Join the walking time machine and celebrate this Festival of British Archaeology. Free, all welcome. Walk will last approximately two hours ending in the gardens of Shrewsbury House – where the House bar will be open!
Local archaeologist and Shrewsbury House trustee, Andy Brockman, will lead a tour of the Park and the summit of Shooters Hill.
Itinerary; Oldest building on Shooters Hill, remains of the medieval woodland belonging to the Parish of Plumstead, the site of London’s first school for children with Special Health Needs, the housing development that never was, traces of the men and women who defended London during the Blitz and the place where you stopped being a Londoner and became a Kentish Man [or Woman].
Tickets and info available from wegottickets.com/shrewsburyhouse
-Or ask at House reception
An event for the Council for British Archaeology Festival of British Archaeology, organised by Shrewsbury House and the Friends of Shrewsbury Park

Andy has run a number of Time Walks and they’ve all been fascinating. A great way to learn about the history of Shooters Hill.

Andy Brockman at Colonel Bagnold’s air raid shelter
Andy Brockman at Colonel Bagnold’s air raid shelter