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  • hilly 5:09 pm on February 15, 2014
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    Half term activities at Widehorizons Environment Centre 

    WideHorizons Environment Centre February 2014 Half Term Events Flyer

    Nicola from the Widehorizons Environment Centre in Eltham sent me details of their free half-term events for children. As there are a maximum of 30 children per session it is essential to book. They can be contacted by ‘phone on 0208 294 8161 or e-mail environment@widehorizons.org.uk. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. The activities take place on Monday and Tuesday:

    Monday 17th February
    10am-12 noon
    Bear & Bug Hunt I Ages 3-7
    Bring your bear on an adventure!
    Come on a Bear Hunt before exploring the ponds and mini beast areas for signs of winter life at our wonderful Widehorizons Environment Centre.
    14.00-15.30
    Nature Explorers & Artists I All Ages
    Play nature games, explore our woods with a scavenger hunt and create some wonderful art using natural materials and clay. This session is designed for families to get outside and muddy together and includes some self led adventures.
    Tuesday 18th February
    10.00 -12.00 noon
    Winter Sprites & Wands I Ages 3+
    Explore the magical woodland here at Widehorizons Environment Centre. Share a story, take a habitat walk and make a winter wishing wand or winter sprite using clay and natural materials that we find beneath our feet.
    13.30-16.00
    Woodland Adventure I Ages 6-11
    Venture into our woods and learn how to shelter build and cook over a camp fire. (Bring your own sausages & marshmallows)

    Widehorizons Environment Centre is located at 77 Bexley Road, London, SE9 2PE. Conveniently the activities do not clash with those at Woodlands Farm which take place on Wednesday to Friday.

    Entrance to WideHorizons Environment Centre

    Entrance to WideHorizons Environment Centre

    Goat at WideHorizons Environment Centre

    Goat at WideHorizons Environment Centre

     

     
  • hilly 6:11 pm on February 14, 2014
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    Eaglesfield Park Ducks 

    Poster about attack on ducks in Eaglesfield Park

    Poster about attack on ducks in Eaglesfield Park

    Like me you may have been shocked to read the posters in Eaglesfield Park about an attack on the ducks in the Lilly Pond. Madeleine from the Friends of Eaglesfield Park wrote about the incident, and also sent details of their next tidying session at the pond. She wrote:

    Criminal attack on Eaglesfield Park Ducks
    We are sorry that our first news update for 2014 conveys details of a mindless, cruel and criminal act on wildlife in Eaglesfield Park.  I am sure that by now many people will have heard about the very upsetting incident or seen the notices posted around the pond.  The FOEP, like any decent people, are appalled that three adults (one with a child on his shoulders)  were observed throwing bricks at the ducks and then “flying” their bird of prey to attack the ducks, which were either killed or carried off.   However this criminal act was witnessed.
    I have obtained further information and would like to assure you that this matter is being taken very seriously.  The Parks and Open Spaces Department of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Greenwich Met Police have been informed.   The latter are acting on information received and investigating  various leads.   FOEP will of course pursue the matter and keep you informed.
    It has been suggested that a duck house/bird coop in the middle of the pond might provide an area of safety for ducks.  We have already looked into this in the past.  The advice we’ve so far had from wildlife agencies regarding a ‘duck island’ on the pond is that this can actually be detrimental to the other wildlife for a number of reasons including impact on water quality from duck faeces, bread left for ducks and ducks bringing in fish eggs on feet and feathers.  However due to the most recent events we are looking into this again and will review with the Parks Dept. and others what the best course of action will be. We will let you know as soon as we’ve done that.
    In the meantime may we ask everyone visiting the park, local residents and clubs to help monitor wildlife security and to report any suspicious activity to the Police.
    Lastly I would very much like to thank the person who took the trouble to inform the authorities and for providing posters regarding the incident and their very generous offer of a reward of £100.00.
    Once again, I am sorry to begin with such upsetting news.

    Ducks at Eaglesfield Pond

    Ducks at Eaglesfield Pond

    Everyone is welcome to join the Friends at their monthly meet-ups at the pond which re-start at the end of March:

    Is Spring on its way?
    We would all like to hope it is, and FOEP are now planning for the arrival of Spring!  We will start our monthly weeding, planting, seeding and tidying up on the last Sunday of the month, beginning March 30th between 10.30 – 1.30 pm.   We would be very grateful for any amount of time you could spare to help us.  It’s not all work – we do enjoy ourselves as well!     If you can join us, could please bring your own tools (spade, garden fork, hand digger, garden rake – sorry!)   Please make sure have suitable gloves and wellies.

    In these wet winter days spring sometimes seems a long way off. Hopefully it will assert itself soon, and bring some ducks back to Eaglesfield Lilly Pond.

    Ducks at Eaglesfield Pond

    Ducks at Eaglesfield Pond

     
    • nicola 2:23 pm on February 16, 2014

      Mindless morons :( our boys have been so disappointed there have been no ducks on our last visits. We will put the 30 th in our diary!

  • hilly 11:01 am on February 13, 2014
    Tags: , Constitution Rise, , ,   

    Adventure Education in Constitution Rise 

    Entrance to woodland on Constitution Rise

    Entrance to woodland on Constitution Rise

    Eltham based adventure learning charity WideHorizons plans to create an outdoor learning centre at a 5-acre woodland site on Constitution Rise, and has written to local residents to get their views on the idea. WideHorizons has a history that goes back to 1929, but was set up as a charity by Greenwich and Lewisham councils in 2004 to manage their outdoor centres. Subsequently Walsall council also became involved. They are now responsible for 6 outdoor centres, including their Environment Centre at 77 Bexley Road Eltham, and they provide adventure education experiences for over 30,000 children and young people a year.

    WideHorizons staff and volunteers  will be at the woods on Saturday 15th February between 10am and 2pm if anyone would like to go and talk to them about their plans. The Google Map snippet at the bottom of this post shows the location of the woods in Shooters Hill.

    Their letter to local residents says:

    I am writing to you as a local resident to let you know about a recent change in management of a 5 acre woodland that is in your local area (see plan overleaf for reference).
    Widehorizons Outdoor Education Trust is a local charity based in Eltham that provides outdoor and adventure activities for over 32,000 children and young people each year. We currently run 7 outdoor education centres including a day centre in Eltham, as well as providing professional teacher training and outdoor learning support services to schools, local authorities and youth services across London.
    As part of our working partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, who own the woodland, we have been granted a lease to manage and develop it for educational use. We would like to use the woodland site to ensure that local schools and young people can access inspirational adventure and outdoor learning activities to support their learning and personal development, as well as other activities to support their curriculum studies including science, geography and the environment.
    We intend on providing opportunities for young people from schools and youth groups to get involved with the woodland management and learn skills including practical conservation, woodland management and project management.
    We would also be keen to work with local people from the community who would like to get involved with the woods management, development and to be kept informed of the various woods activities.
    Please be assured that the activities we propose are planned to be low impact on the woods and we aim to have as little impact on local residents and the surrounding environment. We want to ensure that there is community support for our plans and will welcome any suggestions, concerns or general questions. We are currently surveying the woods to establish what remedial measures are required and there are no planned activities to use the woods until the site is deemed safe and fit for use.
    If you would be interested in meeting us, and knowing more about what Widehorizons do and our proposals, a number of our staff and volunteers will be at the woods on Saturday 15th February between 10am and 2pm. Access to the woods itself is through a set of blue gates on the corner of Constitution Rise and Moordown.
    In the meantime, if you would like to contact us directly to discuss any aspects of the woodland management, or if you have any specific concerns related to our proposed activities, then please do so using the above address.

    The woodlands on Constitution Rise are shown on the 1866 ordnance survey map when they were part of the grounds of a large house called The Rookery, which was still there on the 1914 map. I shall have to do some digging in the archives to find out more about it.

    Google maps snippet showing location of woodland on Constitution Rise

    Google maps snippet showing location of woodland on Constitution Rise

     
  • hilly 8:16 am on February 9, 2014
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    Woodlands Farm Beekeeping Course 

    Woodlands Farm Bee Keeping Course Poster

    Maureen from Woodlands Farm wrote with details of a beekeeping course to be run by John Large and held at the Farm:

    The course is an introduction to practicable beekeeping for both aspiring beekeepers and for those seeking a real insight into the wonderful and intriguing world of the honey bee. The course includes both fully illustrated ‘theoretical’ and ‘hands-on’ elements, covering the basic theory and equipment required, the life cycle of the honey bee, and the work involved over the beekeeping season, including at least two additional sessions working with the hives in the Woodlands Apiary.
    Course Timetable:
    Classroom: Wednesday Evenings, 7pm to 8.30 pm, Woodlands Farm, 8 consecutive weekly sessions, commencing 23 April through to 11 June 2014. Maximum 20-30 on course
    Apiary: Groups of six – 17/18 May and 14/15 June, weather permitting.
    Course Fees:
    £120.00 includes use of protective clothing, gloves and hive tools (but not stout footwear) for the ‘hands-on’ apiary sessions.
    Apiary only days are £30
    Course Supervisor: John Large
    To Book Contact: The Woodlands Farm Trust on 020 8319 8900 or email woodlandsft@aol.com

    Perhaps the gold that yesterday’s rainbow was pointing to was the golden colour of honey.

    Rainbow and beehives at Woodlands Farm

    Rainbow and beehives at Woodlands Farm

     
  • hilly 6:21 pm on February 8, 2014
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    Shooters Hill Multi-Use Games Area open to the public 

    MUGA Court behind Christ Church School

    MUGA Court behind Christ Church School

    Mtr. Ariadne van den Hof, the Vicar of Christ Church Shooters Hill and Chair of Premises at Christ Church School, e-mailed to say that the MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) behind the School is now open for members of the public to use outside school hours. That means that it can be used after 5pm Monday -Thursday, after 4pm Fridays and all day Saturday and Sunday. Access to the area is through a gate at the end of the new path to the left of the school.

    This fulfils the agreement made between the school and the Royal Borough of Greenwich when planning permission was granted to extend the school and create a new play area on Eltham Common.

    The MUGA has line markings for a variety of different sports, and there is also a permanently marked hop-scotch court! What luxury, when I was at school we had to use chalk.

    MUGA Court behind Christ Church School

    MUGA Court behind Christ Church School

     
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