The Friends of Oxleas Woodlands have had an amazing first year, and continue with a full programme of events for 2019, including a Family Walk this Sunday, a Bat Walk on May 10th and activities in May to mark the Tree Council’s Walk in the Woods month. They have made great progress in the restoration of the rose gardens in Castle Wood and Jackwood, have set up additional Conservation Working Party sessions and litter picks and continued to campaign for the preservation of the woodlands. And that’s not to mention the Houses in the Woods walks, their Gardeners Question Time at Shrewsbury House and rose pruning workshops.
The work on the rose garden restoration has been particularly impressive, with many volunteer hours put in to clearing and mulching the beds, in association with the Royal Borough of Greenwich Parks Department. They have plans to re-plant the beds with 265 roses and create interpretation boards, which will include information about the varieties of rose planted, the history of the woods, the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands and the names of donors. They are crowdfunding to pay for the roses and boards: to donate go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/freindsofoxleaswoodlands-fow
Each £15 donation will sponsor a rose in either your name or the name of a loved one, which can be displayed on the new interpretation board.
The Friends’ next public event is the Family Walk on Sunday. Their events flyer gave the details:
Guided Walk : Seasonal Family Walk – Sunday 28 April at 10.30am. FEEL a tree, SEE spring plants, LISTEN to birds and other forest animals. This guided walk is designed for accompanied children aged 5 years and upwards. Please note that all places on Guided walks must be booked in advance and you are advised to let us know if you are coming to any of the activities as there may be changes to where and when we meet. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for activities or email@example.com for general enquires or visit our website www.oxleaswoodlands.uk
The Friend’s programme for May is included below, though I suspect there will be additional events to mark Walk in the Woods month:
Celebrate Oxleas Woodlands by joining us on Monday 6th May at Oxleas Woods Café from 11am. This Bank Holiday Special is part of the Tree Council’s Walk in the Woods month. We will have free activities for all the family, including guided walks, maps, tree dressing, bark rubbing and more.
Guided Walk: Dawn Chorus on Saturday 4th at 5am.
An early morning walk identifying the birds as they fill our ears with their morning songs, followed by an optional breakfast at the café. Booking your place on this walk is essential.
Rose Garden Restoration: Saturday 4th at 10am.
As well as weeding the beds we hope to be choosing the mix of rose varieties for the eleven beds that we will be planting in Autumn
Walk in the Woods Celebration of Oxleas Monday 6th from 11am onwards.
A range of Free activities for all the family. Including guided walks, maps, tree dressing, bark rubbing and lots more.
Rose Garden Restoration: Friday 10th at 3pm.
The weeds are really growing through now but together we can ensure the old roses take centre stage.
Guided Walk: Bat Walk on Friday 10th, 8.30pm
Join us as the sun sets to explore the darkening wood, listening for bats and identifying their calls. Booking your place on this walk is essential.
Shooters Hill Working Party: Saturday 11th at 10am
The Shooters Hill Working Party meets on the second Saturday of every month at Oxleas Café.
Woodland Conservation: Friday 17th at 10am.
We’ll get dirty hands and have fun doing woodland management activities to ensure a variety of flora and fauna flourish.
Litter Pick: Saturday 25th at 10am
There are always some incredibly strange finds on our litter pick days, and we have a surprising amount of fun working together in the thick of it.
Places on the guided walks need to be booked: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Amongst the objectives of the Friends is to support the aims of the Woodland Trust’s Charter for Trees, Woods and People which includes ensuring that the woodlands continue to provide a rich ecosystem with habitat for a diverse range of animals, and to advocate and campaign for stronger legal protection for trees and woods, especially those which have SSSI status. Recent concerns, and action, have been about the type of rodenticide used to control rats near the old police station, and the felling by the council of mature oak trees at the back of Crookston Road at the behest of insurance companies dealing with subsidence claims. The oak trees have been in place much longer than the properties for which it is alleged they cause subsidence!
I’ll post again about the Friends’ Walk in the Woods month activities when I get more information, but now is a perfect time for a walk in the woods, with new leaves on the trees and the bluebells and many other wild flowers in bloom.