Woodlands Farm Summer Show and Open Farm Sunday

Summer Show 2015

Woodlands Farm‘s Summer Show is combined with Open Farm Sunday again this year, so it will include farming related demonstrations such as sheep shearing and a vintage tractor display. It takes place on Sunday 7th June between 11.00am and 4.30pm. Maureen from the farm wrote with details:

All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Summer Show. Come and meet our animals, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves and cakes. Relax in our café, get involved in craft activities and games, and enjoy displays of country crafts. Entry is £1 adults, 50p children. All proceeds go towards caring for our animals. A great family day out!

Since Open Farm Sunday started in 2006 over over a thousand farmers have opened their farms to the public for a day. This year hundreds of farms will be open on Sunday 7th June. In London, as well as Woodlands Farm,  this includes Stepney City Farm and Kentish Town City Farm.  Open Farm Sunday is organised by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming).

Woodlands Farm's 2014  Summer Show
Woodlands Farm’s 2014 Summer Show

The farm will also be participating in the pollinator survey  which is being run as part of Open Farm Sunday again this year. The pollinator survey is one of a series of ecological surveys that the farm will be repeating this year, following the same approach as in 2014. Others already lined up are an amphibian survey on Tuesday 16th June, a meadow plants survey on Wednesday 24th June, two bat surveys in July, a dragonfly survey on Wednesday 8th July and the Big Butterfly count in August. If you’re interested in being involved in the surveys contact Hannah Forshaw, the farm’s Education Officer, on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org.

Wild Rose at Woodlands Farm
Wild Rose at Woodlands Farm

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.

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