Eaglesfield Events

The Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond May 2012
The Lilly Pond May 2012

Eaglesfield Park has two events coming up; the official opening of the restored Lilly Pond on the 15th June and the fifth annual Community Fête, on the 16th.

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park have organised a Summer Festival celebration and official opening of the restored Lilly Pond on Friday 15th June; this is the successful culmination, and recognition,  of years of persistent effort by the Friends. Their invitation says:


 We are writing to share the exciting news that, after many years of hard work and fundraising by the Friends of Eaglesfield Park, the old “Lily Pond” in Eaglesfield Park has now been restored and transformed into a wonderful wildlife pond. The new pond will not only provide a focal point for people visiting the park, but it will greatly enhance and encourage a wide range of wild life.

To celebrate, we would like to invite you to our Summer Festival (part of the Greenwich Parksfest) between 2.00 – 6.00 pm on Friday 15th June 2012 during which the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich will officially commemorate the opening of the new pond and dipping platform.

The event will include: a carnival and drumming procession with the children of Plumcroft and Christ Church primary schools; live music; children’s workshops; pond dipping; dancing and other entertainment led by TARU Arts a local community based arts project. Why not bring a picnic and join us for an afternoon and evening of celebration in our lovely park!

The wild flower meadow around the Lilly Pond created by friends of Eaglesfield Park is growing well; quite a few local residents helped with the preparation and planting. There are even a few Lilly leaves starting to show on the surface of the pond, and occasional visiting Mallards. I’ve added some more photographs to the Flickr sequence showing the how the pond has changed with work and season.

Mallards on the Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond
Mallards on the Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond

Then on Saturday 16th June the local Neighbourhood Watch hold their annual fête. This is the fifth  year that they’ve held the successful fête, and it looks like they have arranged another packed and varied afternoon, as their posting describes:

The Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme invites you to their 2012 Annual Community Fete on Saturday 16 June, from 1 to 4pm.

This is the fifth year that the fete has been held to help promote the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch and foster community spirit.

The fete, held in Eaglesfield Park SE18, will be opened at 1pm by the children of Christ Church Primary School who took part in a competition to design the 2012 fete poster.

A free afternoon of fun, you can take part in the activities including mini tennis, face and henna hand painting, listening to ukulele music, guided bird walks and buy some home-made cakes and refreshments. You can meet the Greenwich Met Police teams and Eltham Fire Brigade, learn more about the history of the area from Digging Dads Army, receive pet care advice and nail clipping services from the Charlton branch of Companion Care Vets and Pets at Home, meet some of the animals from Woodlands Farm and much more.

Jenny Penn, Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme Principal Co-ordinator, said: “We host this fete to celebrate the amazing community we have in Shooters Hill and it just gets bigger and better each year. This year we have more than 30 attractions and stalls.

“This event really shows the contribution small groups make and that community spirit is alive and thriving in Shooters Hill.”

I’ve added both events to the e-shootershill calendar, and here is the Friends of Eaglesfield Park How to find us poster (click to enlarge).

Eaglesfield Park Directions
Friends of Eaglesfield Park Directions Poster

Fire Station Mast – New Dish Application

Shooters Hill Fire Station Mast from Eaglesfield Road
Shooters Hill Fire Station Mast from Eaglesfield Road

A new planning application for the temporary addition of an extra microwave dish to support Olympics’ security onto the Fire Station mast has been submitted on behalf of Airwave Solutions Ltd, the operators of the TETRA based system already installed on the mast. This system provides encrypted communications for the emergency services: police, fire and ambulance, and would be removed after the Olympics by 30th September 2012. The Royal Borough of Greenwich has written to 625 households informing them of the application and offering an opportunity to comment.

Previous applications to add new equipment to the mast have been strongly opposed by many local people, co-ordinated by SHAM (Shooters Hill Against Masts).

According to the application documents the new dish is needed for “a temporary period up to and during the Olympic Games … to provide a critical back up communications link which is required for security reasons.” It won’t be used for the TETRA communications themselves, but to provide a direct microwave link to another TETRA communications mast within 50km – similar to the Port of London Authority mast on Shooters Hill which has a direct link to a PLA radar station at Blackwall Stairs. As such it transmits much lower power, just 50 milliwatts according to their ICNIRP Declaration, and in a narrow beam pointed at the receiving dish rather than broadcast in all directions. The ICNRP Declaration certifies that the dish is

“designed to be in full compliance with the requirements of the radio frequency (RF) public exposure guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), as expressed in EU Council recommendation of 12th July 1999 “on limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz – 300 Ghz)”.

The location for the new dish is in the Shrewsbury Park Estate Conservation Area, where there are restrictions on residents’ installation of satellite dishes on their houses.

Any comments on the application must be received by the council within 21 days of the date of the notification letter, which was 25 May 2012. Comments can be submitted online here, or  by letter, quoting reference 12/1067/F  to:

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise & Skills

Woolwich Centre 5th Floor

35 Wellington Street

London SE18 6HQ

The timescales seem quite tight if they want to install the new dish and have it working before the Olympics start on 27th July.

Shooters Hill Fire Station Mast
Shooters Hill Fire Station Mast

June Half Term Events at Woodlands Farm

Woodlands Farm Duck
Woodlands Farm Duck

June Half Term Events at Woodlands Farm Poster

Hannah, the Education Officer at Woodlands Farm, sent me details of their half term activities for children. I’ve added them to the e-shootershill calendar.

Wednesday 6th June
Pond Dipping
Sessions at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm.
50p per child, accompanying adults free
Come and see what you can find hidden beneath the surface of the water. Using nets we will delve into this mysterious world. Age 4+
Booking is essential, call 020 8319 8900

Thursday 7th June
Toddler Club
Come and join us as we meet the animals, do craft activities and have a play. Tea and coffee provided.
£2 per adult, children free

Friday 8th June
The Big Bug Survey
Drop by any time between 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
Come join us and help us discover what invertebrates live on the farm.
Using different techniques we will be seeing what insects we have as well as what habitats are on the farm for them, we will be looking mainly at bees but some other insects as well. Who knows what we may find.

For more information or to book contact Hannah on 020 8319 8900 or via email at education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

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.

Nearest tube: North Greenwich
Nearest BR: Welling
Buses: 486 and 89

We are a farm so sensible shoes and clothing are recommended! We do allow dogs, but please note that these must be kept on a lead and not taken into any farm buildings.

Hannah Forshaw
Education Officer

(registered charity no. 1051680)
The Woodlands Farm Trust
331 Shooters Hill
Welling, Kent
DA16 3RP
Telephone: 020 8319 8900
Email: education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
Website: www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

There’s a new arrival at the farm to visit if you drop in: Cynthia an Oxford Sandy and Black Pig. Cynthia is expecting piglets in a few weeks time, so it’s just possible they may have been born by half term and there’ll be a chance to see some more new arrivals.

Cynthia, the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig
Cynthia, the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig

Ivy Clearing in Shrewsbury Park

Shrewsbury Park Woods
Shrewsbury Park Woods

The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are looking for volunteers to help clear ivy from some of the trees in the park this Sunday,  20th May 2012 at 1.30pm. They are meeting, providing it’s not raining, at the junction of the Green Chain Walk with Dothill. Their e-mail which was forwarded to me said:

20th May 2012, 1.30 – 2.30pm

Will you help us clear ivy from some of the trees?  Although ivy is not directly harmful to trees,  control is needed where the ivy either obscures attractive bark or adds weight to an ailing tree.
•If the branch canopy becomes thin and allows sufficient light to enter, the ivy will develop into its arboreal form. Fraxinus (ash), a naturally thin, open-crowned tree may suffer heavy infestation, and for this reason ivy on ash trees is often controlled
•When trees are grown for their stem or bark, such as birch and some acers, the stems or trunks should be kept free from ivy
•One problem with very old or damaged trees is that the ivy may hide cavities which, in time, could gradually enlarge and possibly affect stability.

We are not clearing ivy from the ground as ivy is beneficial to wildlife. As ground cover in woodland, ivy greatly lessens the effect of frost, enabling  birds and woodland creatures to forage in leaf litter during bitter spells.

We will be cutting back the stems to the ground. Because of the proximity to the tree’s roots, it will not be possible to dig out the woody stump. Regular cutting of the stems to ground level may weaken the ivy over time, but is unlikely to kill it.

We are meeting at the junction of the Green Chain Walk with Dothill.  Please bring stout gloves and secateurs and/or loppers.

If it is raining, we will not meet.

Look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Best wishes

Shrewsbury Park Woods
Shrewsbury Park Woods

There’s no dog show in the Friends’ event list for this year, but Kathy has circulated details of a dog show at Eltham Park South on Saturday 16th June, starting at 12.00 noon.

Doggie Fun Day Poster

How Shooters Hill Voted

Ken Livingstone won the most votes in the Shooters Hill ward in the recent mayoral election according to the breakdown by ward of the capital’s votes which has just been published by London Elects. He got 46% of the Shooters Hill vote, against Boris Johnson’s 37%,  compared to the 38% to 41% split in 2008. By my calculation this is a swing from Boris to Ken of 6%. The number of Greenwich wards with a majority for Ken also increased, as shown in the ward map below, though Ken still underperformed the Labour Party who also had most votes in Blackheath Westcombe and Middlepark & Sutcliffe in the other two ballots on 3rd May.

2012 London Mayor Election Results
2012 London Mayor Election Results

The full breakdown of votes for Mayor in Shooters Hill ward is shown in the pie chart below. The Green Party’s Jenny Jones was in third place, followed by  the Liberal’s Brian Paddick in 4th place with just 3% of the vote. The Liberals were down from nearly 9% in 2008. Siobhan Benita was just two votes behind Brian, followed by Lawrence James Webb of the  Fresh Choice for London party. The BNP slumped to last place with 2%, down from just over 5% last time. Jenny Jones got the most second preference votes in Shooters Hill, though these wouldn’t have been counted in the final count; in the system used only second preference votes for Ken and Boris were counted.

Votes for Mayor in Shooters Hill Ward
Votes for Mayor in Shooters Hill Ward

1    Siobhan Benita
2    Carlos Cortiglia – British National Party
3    Boris Johnson – The Conservative Party Candidate
4    Jenny Jones – Green Party
5    Ken Livingstone – The Labour Party Candidate
6    Brian Paddick – London Liberal Democrats
7    Lawrence James Webb – Fresh Choice for London

The breakdown of votes in the  London Member ballot is shown in the next pie chart. Labour beat the Conservatives by 47% to 22% in this vote, with the Greens in third on 9%. Interestingly UKIP were in 4th on 6%.

Votes for London-wide London Assembly member in Shooters Hill Ward
Votes for London-wide London Assembly member in Shooters Hill Ward

1    British National Party
2    Christian Peoples Alliance – Supporting Traditional Marriage
3    Conservative Party
4    English Democrats – “Putting England First!”
5    Green Party
6    Labour Party
7    London Liberal Democrats
8    National Front Putting Londoners First
9    The House Party- Homes for Londoners
10    Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
11    UK Independence Party
12    Rathy Alagaratnam
13    Ijaz Hayat

Len Duvall won an impressive 51% of the Constituency London Assembly Member vote, up from 37% in 2008, compared to Alex Wilson’s 22% for the Conservatives. Again the Greens were in third and Lib Dems in fourth. Close behind the Lib Dems’  John Russell was Paul James Oakley of Fresh Choice for London. The National Front went from nearly 9% and fourth place  in 2008 down to just 2% and last place this time, maybe partly because the BNP also entered a candidate this time who took 4% of the vote.

Votes for  Constituency London Assembly Member in Shooters Hill Ward
Votes for Constituency London Assembly Member in Shooters Hill Ward

1    Tess Culnane – National Front Putting Londoners First
2    Len Duvall – Labour Party Candidate
3    Paul James Oakley – Fresh Choice for London
4    Barbara  Raymond – Greenwich and Lewisham People Before Profit
5    John Russell – London Liberal Democrats
6    Roger Sedgley – Green Party
7    Alex Wilson – The Conservative Party Candidate
8    Roberta Woods – British National Party

Turnout figures aren’t given in the London Elects spreadsheet, but it will be lower than in 2008. This time 3102 people voted in the Shooters Hill ward, excluding postal votes which aren’t given by ward; in 2008 it was 3968 which was a 47% turn out. So Shooters Hill turnout in 2012 was probably about the London average of 38%, which means that a large majority, 62%, of the ward didn’t vote.

Of course this is all academic because Boris won the most votes across London and his second term as Mayor, but as I’ve admitted before I enjoy playing with a spreadsheet of numbers (sad or what?) and find this fascinating,  and I think it might give a little bit of insight into the area.

Open Studios

Second Floor Studios & Arts Flyer
Second Floor Studios & Arts Flyer

Both the Blackheath Art Society and Second Floor Studios & Arts have open studios this weekend. Eleven Blackheath Art Society  artists’ studios, situated in Blackheath and surrounding areas are open from 12.00 noon to 6.00pm on both Saturday and Sunday, 19th and 20th May. The snippet of their flyer, below, gives the addresses of the studios (click to enlarge). Second Floor Studio & Arts is London’s largest creative hub of arts and crafts practitioners, with over 160 studio members and 45 Thames Barrier Print Studio members. Their open studios event has its opening night on Thursday evening, and is open from 11.00am to 6.00pm on both weekend days. There is also a chance to see print demonstrations in the Thames Barrier Print Studio and visit their recently opened  social enterprise Arts Canteen. SFSA is located in the Mellish Industrial Estate, Harrington Way, (off Warspite Road),  SE18 5NR.

Blackheath Art Society Flyer
Blackheath Art Society Flyer

The BAS artists’ studios were open last weekend too, and I visited three of the artists closest to home. All three were very welcoming, with offers of drinks and nibbles, a chance to view and purchase artwork  and all were prepared to share their artistic techniques generously. The first studio visited was in the Royal Herbert Pavilions; Nicola White makes her art from flotsam and jetsam found along the banks of the Thames. The art she has created from found items such as  lengths of driftwood, fragments of glass worn smooth by the tide and a surprisingly large number of broken clay pipe pieces was unexpectedly effective, demonstrating a quirky sense of humour. I especially liked the way in which the curve of a piece of driftwood mimicked a bird’s breast, and the essence of a fish captured in broken glass.

Further down Shooters Hill Road was the studio of  Pat Colman, who had works in acrylics, water colours and pastels on display. Her dramatic and moody acrylics of local scenes such as the Thames Barrier and Dome, the Royal Observatory and the Yacht Club were particularly striking.  Pat also teaches art at the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. Finally to Roque lane to see the paintings of Shirley Felts and photography of Martin Ellis. Shirley is an accomplished water colourist and prolific book illustrator, with a long held interest in the South American rain forests which many of her paintings depict. My favourites however were smaller giclee prints of still lifes, capturing the shine on an apple or the rich red of cherries.

If you’re interested in art and local artists next weekend could be busy.

May Be Out

Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common

Action Week, as David Hockney named it,  is here – the brief period of the year when hawthorn trees are covered with copious creamy-white blossom. Hockney describes the sudden appearance of the blossom as being “as if a thick white cream had been poured over everything” and saw it as a time to seize the opportunity to capture  the temporary transformation in art. His hawthorn pictures, whether made using water colour or iPad, were some of the highlights of his recent Royal Academy exhibition.

The display of hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common is as awesome as the sheets of bluebells that carpet nearby woods, and I think should be similarly cherished and celebrated. Academy Road and its parallel path, where I wandered yesterday, would be a good place to start, but many of the other main paths on the common are also bordered by blossom, which may be a vestige of the use of  hawthorn as a hedging plant starting from the time of the  Anglo-Saxons for whom it was the Haegthorn, hedge-thorn.

The hawthorn is magical in more than its ephemeral adornment of the Common; it seems to exceed other trees in its supernatural, superstitious  and sacred associations. One of its many names is the May Tree; it now blossoms during the month of May, but this would have been closer to the start of May before the Julian to Gregorian calendar change lopped 11 days out of the calendar on 2nd September 1752. The blossom was used for decoration and garlands in May Day celebrations, symbolising new life and fertility.

Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich Common
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich Common

Woolwich Common has an interesting history, outlined well in the Woolwich Common Conservation Area Character Appraisal, which is illustrated with some superb old maps. One of these, the Hasted Map from 1748, shows Woolwich and Charlton Commons extending unbroken from Shooters Hill to Charlton Place and Hornfair Park. However the military was using the common for testing artillery by 1720, which increased through the 18th century culminating in the construction of the barracks in 1775 and enclosure of the barrack fields behind a ha-ha in the late 1790s. This encroachment on common land was opposed by local residents seeing their rights  reduced. Military ownership of the common completed in 1803, as the Conservation Area Character Appraisal says:

In 1803, prompted by the needs of the emerging Napoleonic Wars, the Barracks was doubled in width creating an immense 330m frontage – on a scale seen elsewhere only in St Petersburg. The military consolidated control over the entire Common, by means of four special Acts of Parliament to enable their purchase of almost the entire Common for artillery and training purposes. Woolwich Common as it appears today is the result of the subsequent two centuries of military encroachment and development and various opposition movements and compromise agreements trying to reconcile the public’s desire for recreational access with military needs.

The English Heritage Draft Survey of London on Woolwich mentions that the Board of Ordnance compensated  Woolwich parishioners for the loss of their rights to extract gravel from the common, but there was no explicit compensation for loss of herbage and turbary rights, which means it could be argued that we are still allowed to graze our animals on the common and cut turf for fuel. I’m not sure about our estovers (collection of wood or gorse for fuel or building), or the right to build a garish spotted olympic venue.

So now is the time to cast a clout, and for a stroll on the common to admire the May blossom. Here are some more pictures to whet your appetite:

Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common with Olympic venue in background
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common and Olympic venue
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common with Olympic venue in background
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common with Olympic venue in background
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common
Hawthorn blossom on Woolwich Common

Going Batty in Shrewsbury Park

Friends of Shrewsbury Park Poster

The Friends of Shrewsbury Park have gone a bit batty recently. They have constructed and installed some bat boxes in the park and, weather permitting, they will be holding a bat walk in the park next Friday, 11th May. The e-mail from the Friends  announcing the event said:

Come and experience an FSP Bat Walk on Friday 11 May, find out where the new bat boxes have been sited and get to know these shy guys in Shrewsbury Park.

We are meeting at 7.45 in the car park off Plum Lane 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, a torch is useful.

· Children must be accompanied by an adult.

· Dogs must be kept on a leash if you need to bring yours.

· The walk will last about 1 ½ hours. If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact Kris or Kathy on fspdog@hotmail.com . The trail is a mixture of paved path, gravel and grass.

The event is free but your spare change towards buying our own bat detector will be much appreciated.

If it rains neither the bats nor us will be coming out! (but we will reschedule a walk in September)

There are 18 species of bat in the UK and the latest Bat Conservation Trust survey shows that since the year 2000 numbers have been stable or increasing. However that must be offset against steep declines in numbers at the end of the last century – a 70% decline between 1978 and 1992. Bat numbers are one of the UK’s biodiversity indicators – they are seen as a good indicator of the quality of the wildlife habitats in the UK  because they are sensitive to a range of environmental pressures. Scientists are currently concerned about the spread of the fatal bat disease known as white-nose syndrome from the USA into the UK population – early indications are that it has not affected British bats yet.

The most likely bats to be spotted on Friday are the Pipistrelle and the Noctule. The Pipistrelle is the most common, and the smallest  British bat, weighing around 5g (less than a £1 coin), with a body around 3 or 4cm long and wing span between 18 and 25cm. Pipistrelles can eat up to 3000 insects in a single night! In contrast the Noctule is one of  Britain’s largest bats with a wingspan of up to 45cm.

The bat boxes were constructed using the Kent bat box design, and attached,  with help from the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council, to a number of trees last Wednesday. The bat walk on Friday will pass right by all the boxes. It is a bit soon for them to be inhabited, sometimes it can take a year or two, though this is the time of year when female bats are looking for suitable nursery sites with the young usually being born around the end of June or early July.

Bat box in Shrewsbury Park
Bat box in Shrewsbury Park

There is some evidence of bat roosts already in trees in  the park. Many British bats roost in holes in trees, and there is frequently a tell-tale brown stain of bat urine on the tree below the roost hole. They do frequently move between different roost sites however, so a brown stain doesn’t necessarily mean the hole is inhabited.

Possible Bat roost hole in Shrewsbury Park tree
Possible Bat roost hole in Shrewsbury Park tree
Possible Bat roost hole in Shrewsbury Park tree
Possible Bat roost hole in Shrewsbury Park tree














The Friends have borrowed a number of bat detectors from the local parks’ forum and the Bat Conservation Trust for the bat walk. These mainly detect  the bats’ use of echolocation to find their insect prey at night. As the London Bat Group‘s web site explains:

Bats can see very well, probably better than we do at dusk, but even their eyesight needs some light and they would be unable to find their insect prey in the dark. Bats have solved this problem and can find their way about at night and locate their food by using a sophisticated high frequency echolocation system. Our hearing ranges from approximately 20Hz (cycles per second) to 15,000 to 20,000Hz (15-20Khz) depending on our age, but bat calls are generally well above this. By emitting a series of often quite loud ultrasounds that generally sweep from a high to low frequency or vary around a frequency, bats can distinguish objects and their prey and therefore avoid the object or catch the insect. The frequencies used, and the type of sweep or characteristics of the call can help us to distinguish the species of the bat when we use a bat detector that turns the ultrasound into sound we can hear.

Animated illustration of echolocation

Let’s hope the weather is better for bats and people on Friday, but meanwhile here is an example of what a pipistrelle sounds like using a heterodyne bat detector like the ones which will be used for the bat walk.

Oxleas Meadows Missiles

Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows
Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows

A battery of Rapier surface-to-air missiles together with other components of a Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) System was set up on Oxleas Meadows, just below the Oxlea Wood  Cafe this morning as part of the MoD’s exercise Olympic Guardian. The exercise to test security preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games also includes deployment of a similar GBAD System on Blackheath, the berthing of the Royal Navy’s largest ship, HMS Ocean, at Greenwich and activity by helicopters, jets and other military hardware in and over the royal borough.

The Blackheath Bugle blog has a good set of links to news items explaining how the GBAD systems on Blackheath would be used. The campaign against the missiles – No Missiles in Oxleas Wood – have a Facebook page with details of their campaign. Their letter from the MoD about the deployment says that the MoD have taken advice from Natural England over any measures they would need to take to protect the Oxleas Wood Site of Special Scientific Interest. It doesn’t specifically mention the Corky Fruited Water Dropwort, but I hope that will  be covered as I’m looking forward to some dropwort spotting later in the year.

The recently launched Oxleas Wood web site says that the deployment is part of an MoD Community Engagement Day and that local residents can express their concerns between 4.00 and 6.00pm today.

The Olympic Guardian exercise runs from 2nd to 10th May, so it’s possible the GBAD system will still be on Oxleas Meadows when the Bluebell Walk convenes on Sunday. In the meantime here’s some more photographs.

Update: I’ve just wandered over to Oxleas Wood  again and the missile battery will be open for members of the public to have a look round and ask any questions until 7.00pm this evening. The armed forces personnel were very friendly and open to answering questions, describing the different parts of the battery, explaining their manning routine if the missiles are deployed  and even letting me manouver the missiles using their fall-back manual aiming system. They mentioned that the decision on whether the GBAD system would be deployed during the Olympics was still open. The battery will be in place until Monday, so there will be an additional attraction for people on the Bluebell Walk, as well as the bluebells and Woodlands Farm.

Missile Battery and Oxleas Cafe
Missile Battery and Oxleas Cafe
Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows
Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows
Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows
Rapier Missile Battery on Oxleas Meadows