Sat 30th November, is the Woodland Trust Tree Charter Day, and the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands will have a stall near the Oxleas Wood Café, between 10.30 – 2pm (approx.) where we will be offering some guided walks (as well as self-guided walks), talking to people about the Woodland Charter and Oxleas Woodlands, and organising some family activities like Bark and Leaf Rubbing, woody identification, colouring in activities, and also encouraging youngsters to plant an acorn in a pot and take it home to grow – with a view to bringing it back and planting it in the woods next year.
Tree Charter day is celebrated on the last Saturday of November each year. The Woodland Trust describes it as: “a day for the whole of UK society to unite in celebrating the value and importance of trees and woods to people. “
Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May, sees the second annual Kharny Day at Oxleas Wood Café from 11.00am to 5.00pm. This family fun day and dog show, which attracted over a thousand people last year, includes live music, a dog agility competition, bouncy castles, stalls, a BBQ, face painting and a Gladiator knock out for adults.
Kharny Day was set up by Rachael Webb to commemorate the death of her dog Kharn, killed by an illegally-ridden quad bike in Oxleas Woods on Bank Holiday Monday 2013. Kharn, a Staffie/Lab cross, was a special dog: Rachael is a disabled woman, and a qualified dog behaviour therapist, who personally trained Kharn to help her do things she found difficult like emptying the washing machine, supporting her getting up when she fell over and helping her feel more confident in going out. The loss of Kharn was devastating for Rachael.
As well as remembering Kharn, Rachael set up the event to raise awareness that it is illegal to ride bikes in public woodlands and open spaces and to raise funds for animal charities. Last year funds were raised for Battersea Dogs and Cats, this year it is for the Blue Cross Hospital for Animals and the Old Blue Cross Pet Cemetery on Shooters Hill Road.
Good news for bee keepers, and honey lovers. A new apiary, the Oxleas Wood Apiary, has been established in the Royal Greenwich Parks & Open Spaces Depot, Crown Woods Lane, and they are running an Introduction to Beekeeping course and apiary days through 2015. The 8-week course starts on 29th April, and the evening classroom sessions will be held in the nearby Oxleas Cafe.
John Large, who set up the apiary wrote to let me know about his new venture and the course:
Details of the course are available on the Oxleas Wood Apiary website under the tab 2015 Beekeeping Season and registration is available via the online enrolment form. The 2015 Introduction to Beekeeping course commences on 29 April and the Apiary Days are bookable throughout the beekeeping season (May through to September).
For enquiries about the wonderful world of the honey bee I can contacted direct at email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John praised the generosity of the Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces Department who “virtually jumped at the opportunity to provide the present Crown Lane Depot site for the Apiary.” The apiary’s aims are to be self-sufficient, and also to promote knowledge of bees (and other pollinators) and beekeeping in the Borough.
The apiary at Woodllands Farm will also continue with, I understand, support from Sidcup Beekeepers. So that’s twice as much honey coming from the wild flowers of Shooters Hill.