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  • hilly 12:17 pm on April 26, 2016
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    Bluebell Walk on Sunday May 1st 

    Bluebell Walk Poster 2016

    Our local woodlands are awash with bluebells and other wild flowers: it’s the perfect time for a walk in the woods, and there’s a great opportunity this Sunday, 1st May, when Woodlands Farm have organised a guided walk through the woods from Severndroog Castle to Woodlands Farm starting at 2.00pm.

    Hannah Ricketts, the farm’s education officer, wrote with details:

    Bluebell Walk
    View the delights of springtime bluebells with this guided walk through Oxleas Wood and Woodlands Farm. Starting at Severndroog castle this walk will meander through Oxleas Wood taking in the signs of spring as well as a chance to find out more about the history of the woodland, it will end at Woodlands Farm with a trip up to Clothworkers Wood if you still have the energy to enjoy the farm’s display of bluebells. This walk is free, donations are welcome. For more information call 020 8319 8900.

    This is more than just a chance to admire Oxleas’ and Woodlands’ bluebells. Previous bluebell walks have revealed some of the woods’ hidden treasures, such as the Redwood trees planted by the London County Council  in the middle of our native woodlands, not to mention native plants that are indicators of 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.  One year we heard about the historic cants of coppiced Hazels and Chestnuts deep in the wood and their place in medieval life. This walk is very educational and very highly recommended.

    You can see photographs of the plants and wild flowers of Oxleas Woods in a Flickr album here.

    Bluebells in Oxleas Wood

    Bluebells in Oxleas Wood

    Bluebells and Wood Anemones in Lesness Abbey Woods

    Bluebells and Wood Anemones in Lesness Abbey Woods

     

     
  • hilly 10:45 pm on March 19, 2016
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    Birds, Bees, Barn Dances and Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm 

    Woodlands Farm Lambing Day 2016 Poster

    Upcoming events at Woodlands Farm include their annual Lambing Day fair, two barn dances, the first of the season’s wildlife surveys, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust‘s bee walk,  and an early spring bird walk.

    Maureen wrote with information about Lambing Day:

    Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm, Sunday 10 April 2016, 11:00am-4.30pm
    All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Lambing Day. 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 free, but donations are always welcome. All proceeds from donations and our stalls go towards keeping Woodlands Farm here as a conservation project and valuable resource for the community. A great family day out!
    No parking, please use public transport. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

    There seem to have been more new lambs than ever this year. Most are now out in the fields, demonstrating their skills in exuberant bouncing with all four feet in the air, or joining in a mass race across the meadows.

    New lambs racing across Woodlands Farm's fields

    New lambs racing across Woodlands Farm’s fields

    One of Woodlands Farm's new lambs

    One of Woodlands Farm’s new lambs

    There will be two traditional barn dances this year, on Saturday 28th May and Saturday 9th July, both starting at 7.30pm. Skinners Rats will be providing live country music and will be calling the steps. We’ll need to bring our own food, drink and glasses.
    Tickets are £14 (including VAT and booking fee) – booking is via eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/barn-dance-tickets-21713716310

    Honey Bee at Woodlands Farm

    Honey Bee at Woodlands Farm

    The first Bumblebee Survey is this Monday, 21st March at 2.00pm. The Farm’s Education Officer, Hannah, wrote with details:

    We have signed up to take part in the Bumblebee Conservation Trust bee walk this year.  This will involve doing a walk round the farm once a month on a set route and recording any bumblebees we see.  This is every month from March to October, so should keep us busy!  Anyway the first one will be on Monday at 2pm.  We will meet in the Farmyard and will use this time to both map the route and record any sightings, not sure if we will see much if still chilly but hopefully be a nice walk anyway and good to plan route for the rest of the year!

    The Early Spring Bird Walk is on Sunday 3rd April starting at 10.00am. It is free to farm members, but for non-members costs £2 per person or £1 for children under 18. We are advised to wear sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing. The walks includes climbing a small stile.
    Lots to see and do down at Woodlands Farm. And don’t forget the Spring Equinox Walk tomorrow, Sunday, at 10.00am.

    Long-tailed Tit at Woodlands Farm

    Long-tailed Tit at Woodlands Farm

     
  • hilly 3:56 pm on March 18, 2016
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    Shrewsbury Park Events in 2016 

    A Spring day in Shrewsbury Park

    A Spring day in Shrewsbury Park

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park celebrate their tenth birthday this year and have arranged a packed programme of events to mark the anniversary, starting with a bramble clearing session this Saturday. Kathy, the Friends’ Chair, e-mailed the details:

    We are holding a cutting back bramble hour on Saturday 19th March, at 11am. If you are able to help, please meet at the crossroads of Dothill and the Green Chain walk (the bottom of the concrete path that leads down from the car park).  Please bring stout gloves and your secateurs and loppers, we would appreciate your help.  If it rains, the event will not take place.

    The 2016 events include bird, butterfly and bat walks, and a history walk, plus the ever entertaining dog show. The full programme is:

    March         19th:   Clearing brambles
    April            30th:  Bird identification walk
    May             21st:   Tree identification walk
    June            4th:    Clearing brambles
    June            11th:   Summer Festival
    June            12th:   Dog Show
    July             16th:   Butterfly identification walk
    July             22nd:  Historical walk
    September  2nd:   Bat walk
    September  3rd:    Clearing brambles
    October      18th:   AGM

    The Friends have also re-built their web site and are regularly adding new content, it can be found at http://fspark.org.uk/ They would welcome feedback on the site. I think it’s looking pretty good.

    A Spring day in Shrewsbury Park

    A Spring day in Shrewsbury Park

     
  • hilly 5:36 pm on March 15, 2016
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    Trams around Shooters Hill talk at Shooters Hill Local History Group 

    Woolwich Tramshed

    Woolwich Tramshed

    Head to Shrewsbury House on Thursday, 17th March, for Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s next meeting:  a talk about Trams around Shooters Hill. All are welcome at the event which starts at 8.00pm. There is a small visitors’ fee to cover the cost of the room.

    Steve wrote with the details:

    During the early part of the 20th century, trams were seen as a way of bringing cheap travel to the masses. At 8pm at Shrewsbury House this Thursday 17 March, Tony Johnson will present a talk to the Shooters Hill Local History Group on Trams around Shooters Hill. He will deal with why trams were invented, who promoted them locally, and how they rose and fell as a transport mode. He will review the tram routes in the area around Shooters Hill, including intriguing proposals that were never fulfilled, profusely illustrated with pictures that will tap into nostalgia for the streetscapes of over half a century ago.

    The story of local trams is a fascinating one. The first one opened on 23rd July 1910. It ran from Beresford Square across Woolwich Common past the Shooters Hill Police Station then down Well Hall Road to Eltham Church. Tickets cost 2d, which is slightly less than 1p in new money. The line was unusual in that it was powered through overhead wires, like a trolley bus, rather than through the wheels and rails. This was a requirement of the Astronomer Royal who was concerned that the standard method would cause interference with sensitive astronomical instruments.

    Should be an interesting talk.

    A 4 wheeled tram passes Shooters Hill Police Station from David Lloyd Bathe’s “Steeped in History”

    A 4 wheeled tram passes Shooters Hill Police Station from David Lloyd Bathe’s “Steeped in History”

     
  • hilly 5:04 pm on March 8, 2016
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    Easter Holiday Activities at Woodlands Farm 

    Woodlands Farm Easter Events poster 2016

    Woodlands Farm have their annual Easter Trail for children on Good Friday this year, one of their Easter holiday activities for children. These also include mosaic coaster making and a search for signs of spring. Hannah, the Education Officer, sent me the details:

    Friday 25th March (Good Friday)        Egg-cellent Easter Trail 10am-2pm
    Join us for our annual Easter Trail.  Can you find all the different Easter Eggs and Spring Animals hidden around the farmyard? Find them all and you will get your own Chocolate Easter egg to take home.  Drop in any time between 10am and 2pm.  £2 per child.
    Tuesday 5th April        Make your own Mosaic coaster 10am-12noon
    Get creative and design your own coaster using mosaic tiles.  Each child will get their own backing board and the choosing from different tiles you can design your own pattern or picture before you take it home to use over and over again.  £5 per child.  Booking is essential to book go to our website http://www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
    Wednesday 6th April        Spring Trail 10am-12noon
    Spring is here, drop in and pick up a trail sheet to start your search for all the signs on spring.  You can even use your finds to make your own spring picture to take home.  No need to book, just drop in.  £1 per child.
    For more information, see our website or contact Hannah Forshaw on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

    The farm will also be holding its Spring Equinox Walk on Sunday 20th March starting at 10am, and the first fair of the year, Lambing Day, on Sunday 10th April. I hear the first lambs of the season have already been born.

    Spring blossom at Woodlands Farm

    Spring blossom at Woodlands Farm

    Spring leaves emerge at Woodlands Farm

    Spring leaves emerge at Woodlands Farm

     
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